by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
China is one of the world’s top buyers of Genetically Modified (GMO) soybeans, exporting about 20,000 tonnes of soybeans each year to South Korea, Japan and the United States.
The cultivation of GMO products and crops is a concern raised by many, with a recent EU proposal calling for a ban of GMO products.
Despite this, and China’s hesitation towards cultivating GMO products, some farmers in the northeast province of Heilongjiang were found and identified to be illegally growing GMO soy crops.
Heilongjiang produces one third of China’s total soybean output, and is known for growing protein-rich, non-GMO soy crops.
China Business Journal reported these findings last week, however further details were not mentioned. The action taken by the farmers as stated by the report is ‘to seek higher yields’.
The Heilongjiang agricultural commission said it will investigate whether GMO crops are being grown in the province.
The illegal action taken by the farmers has raised concerns for further investigations, and opponents of GMO crops have accused the agriculture ministry on its poor supervision saying “seeds have been sold to farmers for cultivation”.
The country will now launch a nation-wide investigation over this suspected illegal cultivation of GMO soy crops in the country.