February 10, 2021
China discovers illegally produced genetically modified corn seeds
China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said it has discovered illegally produced or prohibited research conducted on genetically modified (GM) corn and cotton seeds by eight companies and research institutes, Reuters reported.
The companies were two seed marketing companies based in Liaoning province and two corn breeders at Xinjiang province, both producing GM corn seed. All the seeds have been confiscated and the companies have been fined, according to the ministry.
China prohibits GM corn production or planting. This is the first announcement of illegal GM seeds production in many years.
Last year, the country's top leadership said biotechnology would be key to improve China's food security, indicating China's willingness to commercialising GM crops.
Experts said removing illegal GM seed from the market is necessary for the commercialisation of regulated GM crops.