Chinese food companies have failed to label products containing genetically modified (GM) crops, despite possible fines of up to US$6,000. The official deadline passed a year ago.
Industry insiders are blaming a lack of cost-effective GM detection methods, uneven compliance, and business concerns about losses in competitiveness.
The mandatory labelling of GM foods is spreading round the globe, and legislation is in place in many regions, including the European Union and nations signing the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. But China’s experience could be an early warning to these countries.
Reference: Nature Biotech, 21, 835-836