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China Science

China May Restrict Genetically Engineered Rice 183

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-rice-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "China's State Council has released a proposal for a grain law that establishes legislation restricting research, field trials, production, sale, import and export of genetically engineered grain seeds, the first initiative in the world that deals with GE food legislation at state law level. Monsanto had tried and failed to commercialize GE wheat in Canada. Now they were hoping China would become the first guinea pig, opening the gate to genetic experiments with staple crops."
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China May Restrict Genetically Engineered Rice

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  • Hillarious Bias (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @07:29PM (#39204011)

    opening the gate to genetic experiments with staple crops

    You know, like most of the corn we produce in North America...

  • Greenpeace. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @07:29PM (#39204015)

    Can I get some intelligent commentary on the topic from a resource who isn't Greenpeace? I figure you can trust them for reliably at least as little as you can trust Mosanto.

  • Re:Greenpeace. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spyder-implee (864295) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @07:35PM (#39204065)
    Strongly agree. Greenpeace and Monsanto may appear at the opposite ends of a spectrum, but they're equally as biased when it comes to their own agenda.
  • Re:Greenpeace. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @07:38PM (#39204091) Homepage Journal

    Nope, because the intelligent discussions on the topic, you know by scientists and experts in the field, get shouted down by the ignorant unthinking masses.

  • by mentil (1748130) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @07:38PM (#39204093)

    Rice is a staple food in China, any unforseen problems with a strain of genetically-engineered rice could lead to a massive famine, which would likely be (attempted to be) covered up similar to the previous Chinese famine. Poor rural people would be unable to afford the expensive imported rice, or the remaining good domestic rice, due to shortages.

    Imagine a monoculture of cheap rice that had only previously been grown in small quantities for a couple decades, which is overtaken by a fungus (like in the Irish potato famine). Due to new communications infrastructure, China could have a serious uprising on their hands.

    Then there's the problem of IP. Chinese industry is notorious for not respecting IP laws whenever possible; even if counterfeiters weren't making 'counterfeit' rice, their government could simply nullify the patent for being vital to the country's interests. Monsanto would be wasting their money. American farms are up in arms over Monsanto lawsuits and 'terminator genes', and they're much more modernized than Chinese farms, so imagine how much respect an American company would get there.

  • by hackus (159037) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @07:41PM (#39204113) Homepage

    So bad, let me count the ways...

    1) Growing Food crops that are 100% genetically identical is so stupid, it borders on idiocy.

    2) Genetic conatmination of the environment. People seem to have a big problem if they see CO2 anywhere, but if you want to wipe out native species of grains and destroy the gene pool, hey, thats A O.K.

    3) Greed, surprise! The small handful of people who run everything and pick who you get to vote for, rip off huge pension plans from everyday people and then claim they aren't cost effective and are socialist anyway also want to control the food, _ALL_ food you eat. Hell, they don't just want to control it, they want to turn those little genes on and off depending on how much nutrition you can pay for. No no...that is not enough, the good food you see, they get to eat as they build gigantic native grain, non GMO seed vaults for themselves and their families world wide, quietly and away from public attention.

    You see, GMO's isn't just about money. They want to be able to turn off your food supply and make it illegal for you to grow any of your own food without a intellectual property agreement.

    Besides, growing your own food is communist, socialist...or any other kind of ism if they can't control it themselves directly.

    -Hack

  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @07:51PM (#39204193)

    the first guinea pig ? What in the world are they talking about? Monsanto has been using the US citizens as guinea pigs for years?

  • Re:Hillarious Bias (Score:5, Insightful)

    by andydread (758754) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @08:39PM (#39204457)

    And they are closing their doors on vitamin fortified rice, and closing their doors on a substantial tool to feed their people. All for nothing but alarmist responses and irresponsible reporting by people who have no clue what they are talking about.

    Yes, because it it's one thing China is known for, it's protecting IP~

    You're just making up motivation to fit into your pet ideas.

    Alamist?
    Tell that to Troy Roush the vice president of the American Corn Growers Association. A 5th generation farmer. You seem to know more that he does. When their gene spreads like wildfire and contaminates farms all across America and they aggressively sue the contaminated farms out of business there is nothing alarmist about that. When food staples are all becoming Monsanto's "intellectual property" There is nothing alarmist about that. Patenting life forms should not be allowed period.

  • Re:Greenpeace. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gideon Wells (1412675) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @08:44PM (#39204495)

    The problem is the current poster child for genetically engineered foods is Monsanto. They are effectively the RIAA/MPAA of GE foods. You bought some seeds, and want to replant some seeds produced by those plants? Nope, that is copyright/patent infringement. You don't intend to copy their product, but seeds accidentally fall on your farm by natural dispersion (someone playing licensed music too loudly), they feel they can sue you for the leaked material.

    The thing that has me pulling my hair out over this debate is this. It would be good to see scientists and experts argue back and forth, or even give a consensus. But as you say, they are drowned out. The two voices that get all the ink in newspapers either are the equivalent of the RIAA or people who want all music banned because RIAA is a bunch of crooks.

  • by Guppy (12314) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @08:59PM (#39204577)

    My cynical interpretation is that Monsanto failed to make sufficiently generous offers for technology transfer. In which case the ban will last until Chinese laboratories make sufficient advances to field their own GM crops.

  • by steelfood (895457) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @09:01PM (#39204589)

    You hit the nail on the head. Monsanto only wields power here because they have the rule of law on their side and deep pocketbooks to keep it so.

    They'd be laughed out of China if they tried some of the boneheaded maneuvers they've tried here. That is, assuming they're not brought in front of a firing squad.

  • by zill (1690130) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @09:42PM (#39204789)

    I'm no expert, but I can tell you aren't either.

    Troy Roush a 5th generation farmer and Vice President of the American Corn Growers Association is the expert look him up.

    Argument from authority.

    Actually no you cannot. The GMO stuff you have License from Monsanto and they have special rules about what you are supposed to do in the license agreement. Also in practice the GM Corn and Soy are dominant and they cross-pollinate the conventional corn and soy. If your corn or soy gets contaminated by GM corn or soy then you have to pay for a license from Monsanto plus purchase seed from them.

    With GMO you can certainly have a mix of crops. It's just that with Monsanto's particular brand of bullshit you can't mix and match. While what Monsanto is doing might be morally hideous and broader-line racketeering, that doesn't mean GMO as a technology is flawed or inherently immoral. Attack the evil-doer, not the technology.

  • Re:Greenpeace. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:01PM (#39204871) Homepage

    Monsanto's bias is towards profits, including profits that are high enough to pay criminal penalties and still have plenty left over. Greenpeace has a bias to protecting the environment and taking a very 'conservative' approach to putting the environment and us at risk.

    So they are apples and organes biased not equally biases. To be equally biased it would have to be two corporations, pushing genetically modified crops with limited and unverified, as well as pumping toxic agricultural chemicals into the food chain, both claiming there junk is safe while the others guys is toxic and should be banned.

  • by andydread (758754) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @12:15AM (#39205555)
    It's not about GMO its about patenting life-forms that can spread and contaminate other life forms with the patented trans gene then suing everyone who gets contaminated with that patented transgene out of existence with an army of lawyers. Its about the company that is the face of GMOs in North America. Their internal studies that have been leaked shows clearly that their methods are not safe. This is Monsanto we are talking about. The same people that said DDT was safe, then Agent Orange was safe, then rbst was safe, feeding cattle corn was safe, they claimed Round-Up was biodegradable...it was not. now they are claiming that their Round-Up ready products are safe when their leaked internal animal studies have shown not to be so and their claims about previous products have shown to be consistently false. Why are people so willing to stick their heads in the sand on this matter?

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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