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China has been slow to jump on the worldwide biotechnology bandwagon-which is hitting it where it hurts. China is losing market share of several key foods, including the kiwi and Peking duck. The kiwi, as most of us now know it, started as a fuzzy grape-sized sour fruit. It was made plumper and sweeter by New Zealand researchers and gained a worldwide market. The price of the modified kiwi is 5 times higher in China than that of its domestic cousin. China's famous Peking duck might be more appropriately called "UK duck." British geneticists have developed a hybrid duck that grows faster, lays more eggs, and eats less than its Chinese counterpart. The UK version of Peking duck now constitutes 70% of the Peking duck served in restaurants in China.


China vows to spend more money on agricultural biotechnology and to limit foreign investments in the genetic modification of its native plant and animal products. (Source: P. Wonacott, Wall Street Journal, 1/20/03, p. A11)


This Nutrition Trivia contribution is by Nutrition Today Editorial Board Member Judy Brown, PhD. Look for more Trivia in upcoming issues.