If GMOs are so safe, why are they banned in China?

Each week, we will answer a question from our readers regarding our operations and community outreach in the State of Hawaii. Submit your question by visiting the contact page. Thanks for reading. Mahalo! 

Q: If GMOs are so safe, why are they banned in China?

A: Here at Monsanto Hawaii, we are proud of the work we do and are committed to dialogue and transparency. However, we believe that an open dialogue should be based on well-established facts and not misinformation.

In fact, GMO foods are not banned in China. The Chinese government has supported and funded many critical programs on biotech crop R&D in China. China has commercialized cultivated Bt cotton since 1997. Biotech papaya has been commercially cultivated in China since 2006. The China Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) is the major regulatory agency for biotech crops. The MOA has granted Safety Certificates for importing food and feed processing material from biotech crops including soybean, corn and canola since 2004 (see this GM Approval Database for specifics). In 2012 alone, China imported 58 million tons of biotech soybean and became the world’s biggest country for biotech soybean importation and consumption.

For more details on adoption of biotech crops in China, click here for a fact sheet developed by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications or ISAAA.