Tuesday, February 14, 2012

After France Fights Back, Big GMO Conquers China

We’ve written in this space before about the uprising over genetically modified organisms (GMO) and how they were given the boot in France and all over Europe. Now comes news that Big GMO didn’t wait very long to shift their attention to an even bigger market.

China is set to approve the first commercial use of GMO corn in the country. While the approval process has spanned three years, it represents a boon to Big GMO, as China is the second-largest corn consumer in the world. Over the last decade, China has become increasingly reliant on importing GMO corn from the United States. Most of the corn is used for animal feed and the ominously named “industrial use.”

As you know, I am dead-set against the use of any GMO crops. There is precious little long-term data regarding the health effects of GMO foods, and the notion of breeding crops with inherent pesticides and herbicides would be best left to science fiction novels.

My main concern with China’s decision comes from the fact that, previously, China has relied on the United States for its GMO corn. Now that China is working towards becoming GMO-self-sufficient, what will happen to all that GMO corn grown domestically? We know it’s not going to Europe. Will Big GMO just lower the price and try to sell more of it here in the US? Is this a precursor to more and more GMO crops being dumped on us right here at home?