China Blocks U.S. Imports Because Of GMO Contamination

Jan Omega - Author
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Jan. 10 2015, Updated 2:04 a.m. ET

Last year, many countries took a stance against genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Inquisitr reported on the latest pertaining to such news, including Russia making it illegal to import or grow GMOs in the country. The United States is starting to take a more aggressive stance against GMOs too. Just recently, Maui County in Hawaii voted in favor of banning GMOs. Of course, Monsanto, the company known for GMOs, did not like the community’s decision because it harmed their business. As a result, Monsanto retaliated by issuing a lawsuit against the county itself.

Now, there is news that China blocked imports from the United States. The reason why is because China found the imports to be contaminated with GMOs.

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According to an article by the Western Producer, Roundup Ready alfalfa is registered and allowed to be grown in the United States. For three American hay exporters, they found out the hard way that China is strict when it comes to GMOs, having a zero tolerance policy when it comes to them. Therefore, the American hay exporters were blacklisted by the country when they tried to export hundreds of container loads of hay to China, some being contaminated with Roundup Ready alfalfa.

Following up on the original article, Natural Society reported that Canadian exporter Ed Shaw expressed his views on China’s strict anti-GMO policies. Shaw appealed to this view through a statement at a forage conference.

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“In the export market, it has be-come a really hot topic item with the Chinese market. The Chinese have zero tolerance for GMO. It’s catastrophic.”

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Presently, Ed Shaw is worried Canada may end up on the blacklist too. First, Forage Genetics — the organization that has the right to sell Roundup Ready alfalfa to Canada — seeded 11 test plots in Quebec and Ontario back in 2014. Second, non-GMO Canadian hay crops are usually grown alongside genetically modified canola seed. All it would take is a single GM canola seed found in hay crops to shut out the Canadian hay export market.

To some people, China banning all of Canada’s hay exports over one single canola seed sounds ridiculous. However, such has happened to Heather Kerschbaumer, the president of Forage Seed Canada. Three years ago, Kerschbaumer had a 25 gram sample of timothy hay rejected from China because of one canola seed. Needless to say, that one seed cost Kerschbaumer as well as Forage Seed Canada.

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“[It] was enough to cause the company we had the contract with to cancel our contract. We lost $20,000 because of one canola seed.”

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) presently is trying to negotiate with the Chinese to work on some measure of tolerance. The USDA used an example that a canola field grown right next to an alfalfa field will result in a high possibility of an export of alfalfa possibly containing at least one canola seed.

Now that you’ve read that China bans the import of GMOs into their country, often blocking imports that have GMO contamination, what are your views? Do you think China is right for taking such a strong stance, or should they accept some measure of tolerance?

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