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Expert: China should open market to country's self-developed GM fish

(People's Daily Online)    16:29, August 15, 2017


China should promote market access to its self-developed genetically modified (GM) carp, said Zhu Zuoyan, a researcher and academician at the Institute of Hydrobiology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xinhua reported on Aug. 14.

The academician made the statement against the backdrop of U.S. regulators' decision to allow genetically modified salmon, making it the first GM animal destined for human consumption recently.

Zhu noted that China's GM carp not only meet regulatory requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on GM animals, but have been comprehensively studied.

Zhu said relevant departments need to make regulations on market access to China's genetically modified agricultural and animal products, and the government, research institutions, and the media should try to scientifically dispel public doubts about GM products.

Zhu's team started researching GM carp in 1983 and published their achievement of successfully breeding the world's first GM fish in 1985, three years before their Western peers.

As the transgenic salmon was injected with a gene from Chinook salmon, the carps bred by Chinese scientists were given a gene from grass carp to speed up growth. The growth hormone in grass carp is broken down into amino acids through cooking, thus causing no harm to human health.

The safety of the GM carp for food in terms of nutrients, toxicology, and sensitization was also assessed by the School of Basic Medical Sciences at Wuhan University and the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment.

As for ecological concerns over the possible consequences of GM carp being introduced into wild, the team said that the carp are less likely to survive and will not dominate the population and influence the original ecosystem.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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