News & AnalysisChina

Activists Go on Warpath Against Transgenic Crops—and Scientists

Science  25 Feb 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6020, pp. 1000-1001
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6020.1000

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Summary

Ever since the Chinese government awarded safety certificates in November 2009 to two genetically modified rice varieties and a variety of GM maize, researchers have come under increasing fire. The anti-GM backlash in China is driven in part by Greenpeace and scientists who are raising long-standing concerns about possible ecological and health effects of transgenic crops. Now, Wu You Zhi Xiang, a loose-knit group known in English as Utopia, is gathering signatures on an open letter denouncing GM crops. The letter alleges that China is being exploited by agribusinesses and calls for the revocation of the safety certificates for GM rice. Few observers expect Utopia's petition to sway the Chinese government, which has enshrined transgenic crop R&D as a top priority. But Utopia's actions may well slow commercialization of GM foods.

* With reporting by Hao Xin and Li Jiao.

  • * With reporting by Hao Xin and Li Jiao.