China / Society

Police unveil progress of unlicensed GM corn seeds

( Updated: 2016-10-09 09:23

This August, a case of genetically modified corn seeds triggered hot public attention, as over 3638 mu (598 acres) of unlicensed GM maize fields in Shaanxi province was weeded out compulsively.

Police officials in Jingbian county of Yulin city recently unveiled more details of their investigation progress.

Liu Zhenguo, a broker, is accused of selling and distributing unlicensed seeds worth 100,000 yuan ($15,000).

He has confessed he knew the seeds were genetically modified, but he did not disclose this to the intermediaries or farmers at the time of sale.

The 51-year-old has been selling standard seeds for the past 20 years, but he admitted that this year he transferred over 10,000 GM corn seeds to Jingbian County's planting fields through several acquaintances.

He also planted more than 500 mu GM maize fields in the neighboring Inner Mongolia, which output surpassed 100,000 kilograms.

Liu sold the rest of the illegal seeds to China's northeastern regions.

According to a preliminary estimate, local farmers have carried an economic loss of few million yuan.

A Shaanxi province's agriculture department official told there were two reasons the maize fields were eradicated.

Firstly, the seeds were planted without the approval of the local administrative department in charge of agriculture, a violation to China's Seed Law.

Secondly, the Regulations on Genetically Modification were not adhered to, as GM plants are strictly controlled by the state. According to provisions, China allows qualified GM imports, but they can only be used in production and processing.

The local government pledged to recover the farmer's economic loss and compensate each mu for 1,400 yuan.

Hot Topics