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China’s Top Grain Producing Province Bans GM Crops

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Farmers in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, China’s top grain producer, will be prohibited from growing Genetically Modified (GM) crops, according to a provincial regulation passed on Friday.

The regulation will become effective on May 1, 2017.

Growing of GM corn, rice and soybean will be banned, while illegal production and sales of GM crops and supply of their seeds will also be prohibited.

The new regulation also bans illegal production, processing, sale and imports of edible GM farm produce or edible farm products that contain GM ingredients. It requires all GM food be sold in a special zone, clearly indicated in stores.

The decision comes after 91.5 percent of responses in a survey in the province in October raised objections to GM crops.

“We support the research and development of transgenic technology, but we should be cautious in applying the techniques in crop production,” said Yao Dawei, director of the provincial legislature.

Sustainable Pulse comment: This decision is a massive blow to the central Chinese government’s recent support for introducing GM crops to the country. The Chinese government has even cracked down on media over anti-GMO coverage including banning Sustainable Pulse for a short period in 2015.

Russia will also be very pleased with the news from Heilongjiang province, which is the Chinese province with the longest border with Russia. Russia has a full ban on GM crops in place.

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