Here's how Dow Chemical is selling GM crops to China

  • The Chinese government is trying to build a GMO empire and promoting GM food, but safety concerns have spurred consumer resistance.
  • Consumer education using science and data will dispel Chinese concerns about GM food, Dow Chemical's Asia Pacific President said.
  • Dow's approach to addressing issues surrounding GMO is a holistic, farm-to-fork one, he said.

With a population of 1.4 billion and limited arable land, China is trying hard to convince citizens to accept genetically modified (GM) food, but there is still consumer resistance to such crops.

The Dow Chemical Company expected continuing public education will help.

"It's all about education and based on providing facts and data in terms of driving productivity," said Peter Wong, the company's Asia Pacific president.

The U.S. chemical giant is working with the Chinese government to drive public education in the area and taking a holistic approach to the issue, Wong added.

"The approach is really looking from farm-to-fork total solution for food safety… Agriculture is just part of it. Another important part is (about issues like) how you provide an effective packaging, how you recycle the packaging material?" he said.

"As long as you can provide the total solution, promoting food safety, the people, the citizens will get it," Wong added.

Dow has been seeing double-digit growth in China, he said, without specifying the time frame.

Food safety is a key issue in China and something The Dow Chemical Company is addressing as a genetically modified seeds provider.
Getty Images
Food safety is a key issue in China and something The Dow Chemical Company is addressing as a genetically modified seeds provider.

The push for GM crops also comes just as state-owned ChemChina completed its acquisition of Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta, with the world's second-largest economy appearing to build a GM empire.

The world population will top 9 billion by 2050, driving a 60 percent demand for food. Much this demand will come from China, said Wong on the sidelines of on the sidelines of World Economic Forum's annual June meeting in Dalian.

GM crops, he said, will elevate productivity, which will eventually be positive for the future of the economy.

"The question is where do you get the land? Where do you get the water?" he asked.

"Even if you have the land and the water, where do you get the capability, the farmers, the labor, and therefore driving the productivity is very important," Wong added.

In a win for Dow, it recently secured import approval from China for two new varieties of genetically modified crop, Reuters reported.