China's over-reliance on GM soybeans worries farmers

Updated: 2013-03-16 13:55


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In China, however, the two varieties sell at similar prices, since non-GM soybean products are not sufficiently recognized on the Chinese market.

Wang said China has not stipulated compulsory identification for GM products and consumers who are ready to pay more for non-GM food cannot make choice.

"We may learn from the practice of labeling organic food with certification marks," Wang said.

Zhao Yusen proposed a solution for farmers to stay growing soybeans.

"The government may improve the pricing mechanism and offer a minimum protective price for domestic soybeans. It may look to futures market prices in March each year to adjust the minimum protective price," said Zhao.

"China may also set up protection zones for non-GM soybeans and display the competitiveness of domestic soybeans," said Zhao.

Industry officials believe the government should work to encourage soybean processing plants to buy and process domestic soybeans.

One solution would involve extending state subsidies to domestic soybean processing plants, using import prices as targets. China may also change tax policies to encourage leading enterprises to purchase domestic soybeans.

To reduce the country's soybean processing overcapacity, industry officials said the government should restrict domestic and foreign companies from constructing new processing plants or expand existing plants used to process imported soybeans in order to make more room for domestic soybeans.

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