Genetically modified papaya said unsafe

The Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture has reiterated its ban on the sale of genetically modified papayas in Taiwan, saying that anyone found growing or selling such fruits could face a fine of between NT$1 million and NT$5 million.
An official of the COA Food and Agriculture Administration said that a new species of genetically modified papayas, which was developed locally to resist certain diseases, has been grown in some farms in Taiwan on an experimental basis since July 2003.
As this new species of papayas has not been approved by or registered with the COA, the marketing and the sale of these papayas is banned by law, the official warned, adding that violators will be penalized under the Food Sanitation Law and the Seedling and Sapling Law.
The official said the COA has directed city and county governments to check on papayas on sale in markets under their jurisdiction to see if there are any genetically modified fruit.
The COA will encourage farmers to buy certified papaya seedlings for mass reproduction, instead of growing genetically modified plants that have not yet been confirmed as safe for consumption, the official said.
Japan has recently resumed its imports of papayas from Taiwan because of Taiwan's effort to ensure the quality of its fruits, the official said, adding that he hopes farmers would not ruin the reputation of Taiwan fruits by growing or selling fruits that have not been approved.