The argument in this paper refutes claims that China has in recent years fundamentally altered its stance on GMOs in response to trade, food safety and environmental biosafety concerns. On the contrary, research investment has increased and policy-makers have continued to emphasise that biotechnology will pay a key role in China’s agricultural future. The paper details China’s achievements in biotechnology research and development, and explains what policies and institutional mechanisms have facilitated Chinese breakthroughs in the field of GMOs. The paper concludes that the recent increase in emphasis on biosafety as a research priority and corresponding elaboration of more sophisticated biosafety regulations suggest that China is committed to developing biotechnology in a balanced and responsible way.
IDS Working Paper 195, Biotechnology Policy Series 4. Brighton, UK: IDS. ISBN 1 85864 513 1, 29 pp.