Illegal GE papayas in China

Feature Story - 2009-05-14
The Japanese don’t want them. Nobody except China and the US grow them. So how do you feel about eating genetically-engineered papaya?

Greenpeace discovers illegal GE papayas in Hainan orchards.

Well if you're buying your papayas from China, it looks like you don't have much choice.

China only allows Guangdong province to commercially grow GE papaya but a Greenpeace China investigation last month found that orchards on Hainan Island are also illegally growing GE papaya.

Now Hainan is a bit far from Guangdong and separated by a hefty chunk of water called the Hainan Strait for GE seeds to make their own way across.

Something fishy is going on.

And this is not the first time this has happened.

In 2004, organic papaya farms in Hong Kong were contaminated with GE papayas.

In 2005 GE rice was found in fields and shops in Hubei province and just last year GE rice was illegally planted in Hunan.

GE contamination a real fear in China

These and the Hainan papaya fiasco are examples of how dangerous it would be commercialise any other GE crop in China.

The controls just aren't there to stop this kind of illegal spread of GE crops.

That's why it's imperative the government says no to GE rice for good.

Right now, although GE rice is not commercially grown in China, five GE rice strains are waiting for the government's green light.

Why is GE papaya so unpopular?

There is a lot of scientific evidence that GE plants may harm people and the environment.

Hawaii, the only other place in the world as well as Guangdong which commercially grows GE papaya, cannot sell its fruit in Japan.

Despite pressure from Washington, Tokyo refuses to allow the import of the fruit until there is sufficient proof there are no health risks associated with the GE papaya.

That ban is still in place.

Do you really want to eat GE papaya?

Join us and help us to pressure supermarkets in China not to sell GE papaya.

Help us persuade the authorities to say no to GE.

Help us stop GE

Sign up for Greenpeace China email alerts. We campaign against GE food in China as well as action on stopping climate change, water pollution and protecting ancient forests.