Very few technologies, like GM, are controversial as soon as they are born.

Recently, science writer Fang Zhou launched an activity to encourage netizens to taste genetically modified corn, saying that conditions should be created so that people can eat genetically modified foods every day.

Fang’s words and deeds quickly became controversial. The first thing was that netizens vowed to “you eat for 10 years.” Then CCTV host Cui Yongyuan questioned him “You can choose to eat. I can choose not to eat. You can say that you understand science. I There is reason to have the right to question that what you know about 'science' is scientifically unscientific."

How to deal with genetically modified foods, the scientific community has great differences, let alone ordinary people. Qi Zhenhong, a professor at Huazhong Agricultural University, once sampled “consumers' management and expectations for genetically modified markers” in six large and medium-sized cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Suzhou. As a result, 83.7% of people hope to add genetically modified markers.

"Beyond the GM dispute, people have the right to know what food is eaten in the stomach." This is the consensus reached by most people. However, an embarrassing reality is that due to the disorderly supervision of genetically modified signs in China, some food companies have found loopholes: the co-existence of genetically modified markers and reversed signage, some genetically modified foods “unwilling to identify”, and there are a large number of “slippery fish” in the logo of genetically modified foods in supermarkets. .

The same is genetically modified soy products

Some labels are not marked

Edible oil is the most common genetically modified food. Reporters in Beijing, Tianjin and many other supermarkets have noticed that some well-known brands of edible oils indicate in the ingredients whether to use genetically modified crops as raw materials. In particular, non-genetically modified crops are used as raw materials. Outstanding.

Bean products are the focus of everyone's attention. In some supermarkets, brands such as soybean milk powder, bean curd, and bean sprouts are all marked with the word “non-transgenic”. A canned tomato soy sauce does not indicate whether the soybeans and tomatoes used are genetically modified raw materials.

Compared with genetically modified foods with soybeans as raw materials and relatively high awareness of the general public, almost no fresh produce in supermarkets has been tagged with information on genetically modified foods, such as genetically modified papaya “Huantong No. 1”, which occupies almost 40% of the Guangdong Province. Papaya sales market.

During the visit, the reporter learned that a GM soybean meal was used in the production of soy sauce, but there was no clear identification on the outer packaging. The sale of soybean meal is a well-known grain and oil foreign company in Qinhuangdao. Staff said that the price of soybean meal is RMB 4,260/ton, and non-genetically modified soybean meal is more than RMB 5000. To reduce costs, some soy sauce manufacturers use genetically modified soybean meal to produce soy sauce.

A soy sauce company marketing department official said that the Ministry of Agriculture stipulates that edible oil must be labeled as non-genetically modified. The country does not have to impose soy sauce labeling. Some soy sauce companies have marked it, and then it is too much trouble to cancel it.

Genetically modified rice can bypass the logo

Some analysts say that the reason why GM markers are very confusing is that, apart from the lack of self-discipline among food-producing companies, there are two important reasons: they lack supervision and their systems are backward.

At present, China's two regulations regulate genetically modified markers. One is the “Regulations on the Administration of Food Labeling” issued by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, which stipulates that genetically modified foods or products containing legal genetically modified raw materials must include Chinese descriptions on the labels, but the quality inspection department cannot control agricultural products. The other is the State Council's "Regulations on the Administration of Agricultural Genetically Modified Organisms," which stipulates that agricultural products that are listed in the Catalogue of Agricultural Genetically Modified Organisms must be clearly identified. This means that species outside the catalog do not have to be identified.

In 2002, the Ministry of Agriculture announced the first catalog of genetically modified organisms, including soybeans, corn, rapeseed, cotton, and tomato. However, the catalog has not been updated since. Therefore, new genetically modified products such as sweet peppers, purple sweet potatoes, papayas, etc., may not be labeled.

It is worth noting that in 2009 Huazhong Agricultural University received a safety certificate for genetically modified rice, and there were controversies. An industry source said: "According to the existing system, GM rice can also bypass the logo."

Why is the logo directory not updated for a long time? When will the second batch be issued? The Ministry of Agriculture has not replied under the media's inquiries.

The United States does not require the labeling of EU requirements

The United States is the world’s largest grower of GM crops. Foods made from genetically modified soybeans and corn have long been found in US supermarkets and are widely consumed by consumers.

In the United States, genetically modified foods on supermarket shelves are usually not marked. U.S. federal government regulators support the labeling of "genetically modified" labels on food packaging, but do not impose such requirements. In May of this year, the US Senate clearly rejected the requirement of mandatory identification of GM foods, and consumers rarely paid attention to whether they purchased GM foods. In June of this year, Connecticut in the northeastern United States became the first state to require identification of GM foods.

The EU adopts a "prudent approval" attitude toward genetically modified crops and foods. The planting area of ​​European GM crops is almost negligible in the world. In EU countries, foods that use genetically modified raw materials need to be labeled regardless of their proportions.

Since April 2001, Japan has passed statutory requirements to identify GM foods. The genetically modified varieties that must be identified include soybean, corn, potato, rapeseed, cottonseed, sugar beet and papaya, as well as processed foods using these agricultural products as raw materials, which can detect genetically modified ingredients, high-oleic acid transgenic soybeans and genetically modified corn. Raw materials processed edible oil. Except for the above 8 kinds of agricultural products and their processed foods, other agricultural products and their processed foods are not allowed to identify "non-genetically modified" products. Since other agricultural products do not have genetically modified varieties, unauthorized identification of "non-genetically modified" products may lead to misunderstandings among consumers.

Integrated Xinhua News Agency, CCTV, Yangcheng Evening News and other reports

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World Health Organization: May Not Hazard to Human Health

In fact, genetically modified foods have already taken root in people's daily lives. In 1997, China approved the import of genetically modified soybeans for the first time. So far, GM soybeans have existed in the Chinese market for 16 years. At present, rice, soybeans, carrots, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, and papayas all have genetically modified agricultural products. Among them, corn has the earliest history, the widest range, and the largest number of transgenes. There are also Hawaiian papayas, most of which are transgenic products.

Many “hidden” genetically modified products made from genetically modified agricultural products are also emerging from the Chinese market. For example, blended oil, soybean oil and soybean products made from genetically modified soybeans, and snack foods made from genetically modified edible oils. Wang Xiaoyu, deputy secretary-general of the Heilongjiang Soybean Association, said that more than half of domestic consumption of oil and fat is soybean oil, and 90% of soybean oil is genetically modified soybean.

Regarding the safety of genetically modified foods, Zhu Xi, a researcher at the Institute of Genetic Development of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, believes that there is no scientific basis for eating foods containing genetic or genetically modified foods that will change human genetic properties. In the long run, genetically modified foods, like conventionally grown foods, have not produced new and unexpected problems that are different from other foods.

In the 2007 World Health Organization's “20 Questions on Genetically Modified Foods,” the document stated cautiously: “The GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessment and may not pose a risk to human health. ”