CCTV forbids ads claiming value of non-transgenic products

October 10, 2014 15:14
CCTV is tightening rules on descriptions of transgenic and non-transgenic products in advertisements. Photo: internet

China Central Television (CCTV) forbids advertisements that imply non-transgenic products are healthier and safer, Securities Times reported Thursday.

A CCTV notice said commercials for products from crops that have been genetically modified (GM) but not commercially cultivated, like rice and peanuts, are not allowed to use “non-transgenic” in the script.

Advertisements for products involving crops that have commercially cultivated transgenic species, like bean and oilseed rape, cannot contain words describing the effects of use of the non-transgenic species.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce recently received a request from the Ministry of Agriculture to help strengthen regulation of advertisements involving transgenic crops, the report said.

Many Chinese are against GM food because of concerns over safety and conspiracy theories which claim such products were created by western countries to control the world. Media reports of GM products on the market will usually stir anger among the public.

Chinese President Xi Jinping in late September emphasized two points in the transgenic food debate — ensuring safety and encouraging independent innovation, according to Communist Party literature. “It means we should be prudent to promote [GM technologies and products] while daring to innovate in GM research,” Xi said.

Xi’s remarks do not mean a change in the government stance but the policy on GM technology has been consistent since the 1980s, Huang Dafang, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

Scientists and analysts agree that Xi was highlighting China’s prudent attitude toward biotechnology instead of an easing of restrictions on transgenic products, the newspaper said.

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EJ Insight reporter