4 May 2020

ThinkChina Analysis: Precautionary Principle and Regulation of GMOs in China

GMOS in China

The potential uncertainties of biotechnology are a strong counterbalance to the research and application of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in China. It has shifted from a rather pro-GMO attitude to a more cautious approach since its adoption of the Biosafety Protocol and several national agricultural regulations in the early 21st century.

Wen Xiang will in this analysis explore the concept of precautionary principle at international level and its application on the regulating GMOs in China. The precautionary principle has been seen as a core element in regulation of GMOs, as reflected in Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and EU legislations. It also plays an important role in China’s regulatory framework on GMOs, even though the interpretation and implementation of it remain unclear. Lacking of independence of risk assessment and transparence in risk management, as well as lacking of effectiveness of liability regime in China, largely impede the exercise of precautionary principle in the regulation of GMOs.

This analysis will mainly focus on three aspects, including scientific quality in the risk assessment, transparence in the risk management and effectiveness of the environmental liability system.

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