In DepthFood Security

China aims to sow a revolution with GM seed takeover

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Science  07 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6333, pp. 16-17
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6333.16

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Summary

The planned takeover of Swiss seed giant Syngenta by Chinese state-owned chemical company ChemChina stands to change the outlook for biotech research in China. Although China imports preapproved genetically modified (GM) foods and generously funds GM research, the Chinese government has never approved a staple biotech food crop for cultivation. That may soon change, however. If the Syngenta takeover clears regulatory hurdles, the emergence of a massive state-owned company in possession of competitive GM seed lines could help speed along commercialization of key GM crops like corn. Researchers will still face an uphill battle, though—a Chinese public wary of government food safety claims largely opposes GM crops.