CHINA will step up its supervision of the country’s seed sector in 2017 after investigations last year found illegal production of genetically modified (GM) corn seed, the Ministry of Agriculture said Friday.
China does not permit the planting of any GM varieties of staple food crops but last year the government admitted that several farmers had been found growing GM corn illegally.
In response, it uprooted almost 600 acres of GM corn in Shaanxi Province last year, and destroyed more than 1,000 mu (163 acres) of corn in Xinjiang and Gansu.
Despite major campaigns to tackle the problem, the production of illegal and counterfeit seed still exists, threatening the healthy development of the industry, the ministry warned in a notice on its website.
It called for more inspection of seed samples this year, and more inter-provincial cooperation to crack down on fake seed sales.
Supervision and testing of seeds should be stepped up in major seed breeding regions such as Gansu and Xinjiang, in particular, to prevent illegal planting of genetically modified seeds, it added.(SD-Agencies)