Sometimes I hear scientists in the West — especially those who have had their lives made difficult by anti-GMO activists — say they wish things were as straightforward as they are in China, where political dissent is not tolerated and science-based development can supposedly proceed unhindered.

I tell them to be careful what they wish for. The situation in China is far from simple. In fact it is as complicated, if not more, than anywhere in the world. China may not have much in the way of freedom of expression, but that does not mean that all public debate is curtailed. Indeed, the GMO debate in China has been as fractious and polarizing as anywhere. (more…)