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            Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are received in different ways across the globe. Countries have fabricated different legislation to react to the advances in the healthcare industry and agriculture due to GMOs. The media in these countries have brought the possible effects of GMOs to the attention of consumers. Thus, many activist groups have formed for or against the use of GMOs. China, India, Great Britain, Canada, the EU, and the USA have contrasting reactions to GMOs.



            China is a nation whose population is growing rapidly. They must find a source for food that is an alternate to importing food, as this becomes costly. Biotechnology provides an answer; one that China is interested in pursuing. They invested a significant amount of money, 3.9 billion US Dollars, in 2009. (PDF SOURCE) in supporting research of this nature. “90% of China’s field trials target pest and disease resistance in plants,” (Tao 2). Things such as the sweet pepper, cotton, and tobacco are approved for use in China. 60% of respondents to a survey conducted in 2006 were willing to purchase biotech foods at the same price as their non-biotech counterparts. 20% would not accept any sort of biotech foods, and 20% would purchase biotech foods if they came at a discounted price. Another study published in “Food Policy,” suggests that there are four perspectives in China, of which income plays a prominent role. Those with the lowest income are more likely to buy GMO food sources, while the group with the highest income are more concerned with the implications that GMOs have for medicinal uses rather than a food source. (Zhang 6-7) Overall, China has many uses for the potential that GMOs have to offer, however; they are careful about what is allowed in their country. They look to the potential that projects like “The One Ring to Secrete them All,” because the future of feeding one fifth of the worlds population becomes a huge challenge as they also face land that is degraded and urbanization. (“China’s ability,” 2013).


United States

            The United States tends to have fewer regulations on GMOs, in the respect of the rest of the world. However, due to public awareness, regulations have become heavier. At the beginning of these regulations, the United States had difficulty deciding whether to regulate the process under which the products were made, or the products themselves. “A subsequent report from the National Research Council concluded that "the product of genetic modification and selection constitutes the primary basis for decisions and not the process by which the product was obtained," and this became the basis for regulatory American policy." (Lynch 6).  To see to the matter of regulation, the European Protection Agency, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration work together to regulate these products. The United States is known for its extensive research in biotechnology products. The United States had 5,233 U.S. issued biotechnology patents, compared to the 299 of Britain and the 373 of Germany. (Jasanoff 2013). The United States uses GMOs in their farming to reduce the amount of pesticides that they must use.


The UK

            In comparison to the United States, Great Britain has placed stricter regulation on GMOs. This is done in concern of harming either humans or the environment. Much of the specifics of Great Britain’s base regulations can be found in the Environmental Protection Act in 1990, which has been amended to fit current events since. Movement has also been made to require labeling of all GMO products, in order that the consumer can be aware. Currently, no GMO products are being grown in the UK, but it is legal to import some GM products, such as soy for use as animal feed. While they recognize the potential benefits that GMOs may provide, they are more concerned about their effects. GMOs are commonly rejected by the citizens in the UK as well, but that is improving. “The new polling shows opposition has weakened, with 15.2% of 2,058 people being "fairly unconcerned" now compared with 6% of 1,363 citizens in 2003” (“Public concern,” 2013).



            Throughout their history, India has been weary of GMOs, but they have used Bt resistant cotton. However, they have placed a moratorium on Bt cotton to explore the possible detriments to using such products. (“The spread,” 2013)  The use of GMOs has increased their export of cotton. “Economists Graham Brookes and Peter Barfoot estimate that Bt-cotton boosted India's economy by $9.4 billion from 2002 to 2010 and by $2.5 billion in 2010 alone”. (“Embracing GM,” 2013). Their country consists of mainly small farms as their agricultural system, so some of these farmers cannot handle the rising costs that accompany the use of GMOs. Claims have been made of farmers committing suicide in correlation to the use of GMOs (“Frontline/World,” 2013). In the past, GMO crops have helped India develop, but they are taking a step back from the scene to observe what other possible effects exist.



            Canada is among the top five producers of GM products in the world (Ghoreishi 2013). Their regulation is contrasting from other countries. GMO food products are considered a “novel food,” and therefore; labeling is optional for companies. Many Canadians show opposition to this, 88% of them have shown desire for labeling of GMO foods. (Dobbin 2013). The majority, 60% (“Emerging technologies,” 2006), of the population also believes that more studies need to be done in order to verify the safety of GMO products. Ninety percent of the canola oil produced by Canada is genetically modified, which contributes to %15.4 billion dollars to the Canadian economy. (Ghoreishi 2013)


            Each region of the world has a use and potential benefit gained from GMOs. However, some regions are more accepting to GMOs than others. Canada and the United States are among the most accepting of GMO products, while India and the UK have many regulations and bans in place for GMOs. China has put a significant amount into the research of GMOs; as their population grows, they face the need for more basic resources. This project could have major implications for developing and developed countries alike, even though populations have diverse views on GMOs.


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