"At present, more than 90% of papayas on the market in Guangdong are safe transgenic papayas!" A few days ago, Professor Li Huaping of South China Agricultural University, the only person in charge of applying for genetically modified papaya planting project in China, told reporters at the seminar on "Agricultural Biotechnology for Food Security" jointly held by South China Agricultural University and the Plant Protection (China) Association in Guangzhou.
However, it is surprising that agricultural genetically modified products that are explicitly listed in the list of agricultural genetically modified organisms should be clearly labeled. However, when the reporter visited the Guangzhou market, he found that the transgenic logo of papaya on the Guangzhou market was collectively "absent".
95% of papaya on the market are genetically modified
"At present, 95% of papayas on the market in Guangdong are safe transgenic papayas." Professor Li Huaping said at the seminar that since 1965, the common varieties of papaya in the south are prone to mosaic disease, causing branches to wither and die. As the only person in charge of applying for commercial planting of transgenic papaya in China, Li Huaping has successfully cultivated "Huanong 1" transgenic papaya for many years since 2000. Through years of field planting, it has been shown that only 0.5% of "Huanong 1" will be slightly ill.
Li Huaping said that after the acceptance of all parties, the "Huanong No. 1" transgenic papaya was successfully entered into the list of agricultural genetically modified organisms not long ago, and could be sold on the market in a fair way. "At present, 80%~90% of papaya in Panyu District are insect resistant transgenic varieties." Huo Rixiang from the office of Panyu District Agricultural Technology Promotion Station told reporters.
GM food dare not sell
It is understood that the Ministry of Health has discussed and adopted the Measures for the Hygienic Management of Genetically Modified Food on December 11, 2001, which has been implemented since July 1, 2002. Article 28 of the Measures for the Hygienic Administration of Genetically Modified Food clearly stipulates that "the agricultural genetically modified organisms listed in the catalog of agricultural genetically modified organisms shall be labeled by the production and sub packaging units and individuals; those not labeled shall not be sold."
However, it is surprising that the reporter visited many markets in Guangzhou yesterday and found that the papaya on the market did not have any "transgenic" logo. The reporter saw in many supermarkets in Guangzhou that the papaya inside were placed in bulk, and there was no other prompt except a huge price billboard telling consumers about the origin, price, variety, etc.
"How can there be so many genetically modified products in Guangzhou?" In the face of the reporter's question, Miss He, who was highly educated, also looked puzzled. She said that she had heard the news about genetically modified soybeans before, but did not know that 95% of papayas on the market in Guangzhou were genetically modified products. "Some consumers are afraid of the potential risks of genetically modified papaya because of the GM logo." The salesperson of a large supermarket near the Hakka Village broke the ice.
Feng Zhijia, who planted papaya on Panyu Haiou Island, told the reporter that there are differences between the mainland and Hong Kong in dealing with genetically modified products. He said that his "Huanong No.1" transgenic papaya had successfully entered the Hong Kong market, but it could not be exported to Hong Kong until it was labeled with "GMO". However, domestic purchasers or dealers do not pay attention to these things. They just buy and leave, and no one cares whether to paste the "GM" logo.
Obviously, it is genetically modified food. Why don't you tell the consumers? Isn't it a violation of consumers' right to know? Professor Li Huaping said that this situation is indeed quite common in China, and the regulatory authorities should do something.
Unfortunately, Feng Zhijia told reporters that the competent agricultural departments at all levels in Guangzhou did not require them to affix the "genetically modified" logo.
Expert: GM food has not been proved to be unsafe
There is no need for genetically modified products to be so secretive. Huang Dafang, a researcher and doctoral supervisor of the Institute of Biotechnology of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, told the reporter that 70% of the world's soybeans, 46% of cotton, 24% of corn and 20% of rape are genetically modified products. "At present, the dispute about GM products is mainly about their safety, that is, whether they have a negative impact on human health and the balance of the ecological environment. At present, there is no clear evidence to prove that GM food is unsafe."
Professor Yang Xiaoguang, a researcher in the Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, further pointed out that compared with traditional food, biotech crops and their products are safer in terms of microbial toxins and pesticide residues, and can bring consumers more nutritious and healthy food choices. For example, transgenic insect resistant rice, in a sense, its safety even exceeds that of traditional products. Because transgenic insect resistant rice reduces the use of chemical pesticides, thereby reducing the pesticide residues in the products.