Hainan cracks down on illegal modified crops

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-4-2 0:38:03

Hainan Province said on Monday that it has found illegal transgenic crops growing within the province and destroyed the experimental plants.

The announcement was made by the provincial department of agriculture in response to recent speculation that illegal experimental crops were planted in the province, People's Daily Online reported.

The government says it found farms in Sanya and Jiusuo planted transgenic cotton and corn in inspections from December 23 to 27.

Nine strains of transgenic crops planted in the experimental fields were destroyed under supervision of local agricultural law enforcers and six other suspected transgenic samples face further inspection.

The Hainan agriculture department did not reveal what prompted the crackdown, but promised to continue targeting illegal experimentation and production of transgenic crops.

An editorial in local news portal hinews.cn criticized the agriculture department for not revealing the issue in a timely fashion and only telling the public after speculation spread on the Internet.

The south of the province serves as a breeding base due to its tropical weather and excellent biological environment.

Hundreds of research institutions, colleges and companies from over 20 provinces and regions breed plants there.

Huang Dafang of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences said the experiment was illegal as the institutions had not been approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, according to People's Daily Online.

All experiments and production of transgenic plants must acquire approval from the Ministry of Agriculture, according to the 2001 regulation on the safety administration of agricultural transgenic organisms.

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