GMO Food

China Tries to Ease Citizens' Fears of GMO Food

Country prone to food scares due to safety problems

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China's state media are working overtime to persuade the public that genetically modified food is safe, apparently softening up the population for a policy switch to allow the sale of such food to ensure its 1.35 billion people have enough to eat.

In the past 30 years, China's urban population has jumped to about 700 million from under 200 million, driving up demand for meat and staples such as rice that scientists say only GMO can satisfy.

Imported GMO soybeans are already used as feed for animals but winning acceptance for the more widespread use of GMO may be a hard sell in a country frequently in the grip of food scares—just this year over baby milk powder and chemicals in chickens, for instance.

GMO food faces opposition even at the top levels of Chinese bureaucracy, with a senior national security official likening it to opium.

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