November 4, 2013


China Grain Reserves Corporation mixes up grain reserves



China Grain Reserves Corporation has pulled out 1,477 tonnes of imported rapeseed oil mistakenly mixed into its reserves.


The state owned grain company also says it only accepts home grown, non-genetic-modified (GM) products to support local farmers.


Chinese residents were disturbed on news about imported genetic-modified rapeseed oil being mixed into the state grain reserve, especially as the debate on GM food heats up.


China Grain Reserves Corporation, the country's main reserve of grain and oil, admits foreign rapeseed oil has been stored into the state reserve, but said there is no GM oil involved.


Two companies had violated purchase regulations for financial gains. Imported rapeseed is much cheaper than local rapeseed, which enjoy a price floor set by the government.


"Staff is in local companies to supervise the whole purchase process, from purchase, manufacturing, to storing into the tank. We watch over the whole process," said Zhou Yi, Director of Purchase and Sales department of China Grain Reserves Corporation.


But the mix-up is a lesson for the grain reserve, showing there needs to be more oversight.


"It's impossible to differentiate imported oil and local produced one. When it was handed over to us, no one's there to check it, and we don't actually have an examination technique now. It all comes down to honesty of the companies who act on behalf of us," said Zhou Yi.


While severe warnings have been given to the companies which broke the rules and other firms with other misconduct-- stricter quality controls need to be in place to fully ease public concerns.