between A Native Chinese and An Alien Fish
It all began when one
day last year the man named Guo Chenglin (郭成林),
a Shenyang native working in Beijing, posted a short article
on China's most popular online forum tianya.com Titled 金龙鱼，一条祸国殃民的鱼 (Arawana,
A Fish that Wrecks the Nation and Harm the People).
The following is the excerpt of the article and English
The company puts a banner ad "1:1:1" to
let consumers know it promotes the concept of healthy
eating, but this foreign business lied to 1.3 billion
Chinese. Through misleading advertising it sold 40
billion bottles of Arawana cooking oil and has almost
dominated the entire China's edible oil market.
First of all, let's examine how Arawana
oil becomes so successful in China: It's all because
it has a global GM soybean supply train! The company
grows GM soybeans and GM herb in South America, and
makes money through international futures trade.
The beans and the herb are then transported to China
to make animal feed with the residue to be turned
into cooking oil and sold in tens of millions of
Chinese supermarket outlets. Sadly Chinese consumers
do not have a habit to check the list of ingredients
of the cooking oil they purchased! Europe and Japan
do not allow GMO to be used for human consumption,
for fear of potential harm done to their people!
The damage of GMO to human health (naturalnews.com) is a slow process
and will become apparent in future generations! Mules
are an artificial species created through the crossbreeding
between horses and donkeys, as the result mules do
not possess reproductive capability. Please consider
what the GM oil might do to you.
Second, the cost of producing GM foods
is very low. The dump of GMOs by overseas companies
in Chinese market has already destroyed China's soybean
business in the northeast region, and our black soil
in Heilongjiang Province fertile for the world's
best soybeans has already been colonised by US GM
plants! The soymilk that we drink daily are almost
exclusively made of GMO!
Third, Arawana-brand oil is extracted
from the soybeans using chemical leaching method!
The advantage of this technique is its high commercial
yielding, which reduce the cost, but the problem
is it will produce two harmful substances: lead/mercury
residues and Trans fatty acid - both could cause
cancer. About 70 percent of Arawana's blend oil is
processed through chemical leaching, even newly marketed
Arawana Deep Sea Fish Oil has chemical leached soybean
oil as its main components!
The language used in the post might
be a bit too strong, but can Wilmar Ltd reject the accusations
made by Mr Guo?
Mr Guo said that Arawana's domination
of China's oil market contributes greatly to the demise
of local high-quality organic soybean business.
Here are two pieces of news from China's
state-run media Chinadaily:
Soybean imports squeeze market share (by Cheng Yingqi)
Genetically modified (GM) soybean
imports have been nibbling away at China's soybean
market for years. Now Northeast China's Heilongjiang
province is being particularly hard hit.
Heilongjiang used to produce high-quality
soybeans, with farmers selling more than 60 percent
of their crop before the Spring Festival but
less than 2 percent of soybeans have been sold
so far this year (2010).
Instead, the lower priced GM soybeans
are taking control of the market.
According to China News Service, the
disparity in price has forced 68 medium-sized
soybean-processing enterprises in Heilongjiang
to stop production.
GM oil takes more than 80 percent
of the market, said an industry insider.
In 2004, international tycoons made
use of futures trading to drive soybean prices
up to 4,300 yuan ($630) per ton. In fear of further
price rises, Chinese oil refinery enterprises
bought 3 million tons of soybeans from the United
Later on, the price of soybean fell
to 3,100 yuan per ton, resulting in the closure
of 50 percent of Chinese oil refineries. International
companies then took 60 percent of Chinese oil
refinery companies under their control.
In 2005, they aimed for non-GM soybean
refinery companies. International companies purchased
China's non-genetically modified soybean-oil
at a high price and sold them out at a price
even cheaper than GM oil.
"Our non-genetically modified
soybean-oil deserves a good price. But the international
companies have dropped the purchase price for
evil purposes," Tian Renli, president and
general manager of Jiusan Oil and Fat Company,
one of China's top 500 enterprises, was quoted
as saying by China News Service.
In 2005, non-GM oil sold at 35 yuan
a barrel in supermarkets, while GM oil sold at
56 yuan, Tian said.
This was a vital strike to China's
non-GM oil refinery companies. Till 2006, half
of Northeast China's oil refinery plants were
either shut down or out of business.
By the end of 2008, the General Administration
of Customs warned that foreign capital is sharpening
its control of food production, especially in
terms of non-GM soybeans.
GM soybeans hurt bean production in
Farmers in China's Heilongjiang province
are losing faith in soybean production because of
growing imports of genetically modified varieties
of the foodstuff.
Some working the land in the nation's
main soybean supply base have given up growing the
China's soybean imports increased
16.2 percent year-on-year to 30.76 million tons in
the first seven months, according to the latest China's
China consumes about 10 million tons
of soybean oil and about 40 million tons of soybean
meal per year, more than 80 percent of which is imported
or made from imported GM soybeans.
"The dual standards in
trade policy failed to provide an equal competition
platform for the domestic industry. It stimulated
more imports instead of protecting the domestic
industry," Fan said.
Generally, countries that don't allow
production of GM crops, also prohibit the importing
of GM crops.
So far, China has yet to approve
GM crop production but the nation imports more
than 40 million tons of soybeans per year from
countries such as the United States, Brazil and
Argentina that mainly grow GM soybeans.
"We are not willing to cultivate
GM soybeans even if we could. There are still
many uncertainties about GM food and it contradicts
our vision of building a green and natural ecology."
said Zhang Honglei, an official of Heilongjiang Beidahuang
Group, the biggest agriculture group in Heilongjiang.
Competition from outside is "cruel" and
the industry needs more protection from the government,
Both American and European countries
adopt various measures to protect their own soybean
industries. These include subsidies or lifting tariffs
on imports, as well as non-trade methods such as
the prohibition of imported GM food, said analysts.
Mr Guo is a Northeast native, and it
is understandable that he may know more details about the
subject and feel deeper pain when seeing his people are
beaten flat by foreign multinationals. Can Wilmar deny
its role in this market manipulation that results in the
collapse of Chinese soybean and oil businesses?
Mr Guo said Arawana oil is made of
This is the list of ingredients on
the package of Arawana oil sold in Chinese supermarkets.
It confirms that not only the soybeans, but the herb
seeds Arawana products used are GMOs.
Can Wilmar Ltd declare that the list
of ingredients on Arawana oil packages is fake?
Mr Guo said Arawana oil is processed
by chemical leaching with residues that could cause cancer.
Wilmar admitted the oil is leached and the leaching does
produce harmful residues. Despite it also insists the amount
of the residues remained does not affect the oil to meet
China's food safety requirements, however, producers do
have a responsibility to address the concerns raised by
consumers, don't they? Can Wilmar explain why instead of
presenting convincing evidences to support its claim, it
has worked to prosecute the man who expressed his distrust
for their products?
   
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