China goes transgenic

Ranks fifth globally in area under cultivation

 
Published: Wednesday 15 December 2004

The area under transgenic crop plantation has increased considerably in China. The country now ranks only behind the US, Argentina, Canada and Brazil in this respect, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on November 2, 2004.

The area under transgenic crops in China was three million hectares in 2003, a sharp increase since 1998. Most of these plantations are located in east China's Anhui and Jiangsu provinces, north China's Hebei province, central China's Henan province and southeast China's Fujian province. Cotton, sweet pepper and tomato are among the main transgenic crops grown. As much as 90 per cent of the country's cotton production comes from transgenic crops.

China is also formulating standards and safeguards for transgenic crops. It has developed test and safety standards for 25 crops, and norms for another 15 crops are in the pipeline. It set up the National Agricultural Transgenic Plants Safety Office in 2001, which is responsible for ensuring the safety of transgenic food and is in the process of setting up 42 transgenic crop institutions.

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