In an effort to diffuse fears over genetically modified organisms, China’s Agricultural Minister, Han Changfu, admitted to eating transgenic food. Hopefully China’s population will follow suit as it may increasingly rely on GMOs to feed itself. Bloomberg reports:
The use of genetically modified foods, controversial among China’s increasingly safety-conscious consumers, got an official shout-out when the agricultural minister, Han Changfu, met the press today. Describing himself as a regular consumer of GMOs, mainly through soybean oil, he noted that use of genetically modified cotton has boosted China’s yields by controlling pests and lowering the need for pesticides. That’s good news for the industry as well as farmers’ incomes, Han pointed out.
Officially, genetic modification is allowed only for China’s cotton and papaya crops, but most of the country’s soybean imports from the U.S., Brazil, and Argentina are modified. The agricultural technology is “a new concept to many people, so it’s understandable that some are worried about it,” Han said. “It needs time for people to get to know and accept it.”
Whether or not Han actually puts his money where his mouth is, it’s nice to have one official playing a human guinea pig who also uses facts to back up his argument. You know, rather than simply jumping in a polluted river to show that it’s safe or eating chicken to prove that bird flu is bullshit.