Staple foods not genetically modified

CHINA - China does not allow commercial production of any genetically modified staple foods, but the country needs to stay on top of the technology, Niu Dun, deputy minister of agriculture, told media on Monday after the opening meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing.

Niu said that, so far, China had approved only the production of GM cotton and papaya. No genetically modified staple foods such as meats, eggs, milk or seafood are allowed in commercial production, he said.

"We should draw a clear distinction between GM research and GM production. The genetically modified organism technology, an advanced technology that is valued greatly across the globe, should be taken seriously by us," Beijing Times quoted Niu as saying.

To be competitive and enhance its soft-power influence, China must "occupy a commanding height in this technology", he said.

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