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The truth is out there somewhere

By Raymond Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2014-02-08 09:19

The truth is out there somewhere

Li Min / China Daily

A public debate on the safety of genetically modified food between two Chinese celebrities has turned into a drama set in three countries.

The truth is out there somewhere

Genetic modification way of future 

The truth is out there somewhere

From the horse's mouth, literally 

Arguably the fiercest fight in China for the past five months has been between a television personality and a science writer. The topic, however, is not trivial, but concerns public acceptance of genetically modified food.

Cui Yongyuan made his name as host of the wildly popular talk show, Tell It Like It Is. Though the show was discontinued long ago, his reputation as a no-nonsense presenter who dares to confront people in power with frankness - sometimes couched in humor - is firmly established. Amid bouquets of bombastic officialese, Cui's remarks often sound as refreshing as common sense.

Fang Zhouzi is on a one-man crusade against academic fraud. A PhD graduate from Michigan State University, he has uncovered legions of professors and businessmen with fake or spruced-up diplomas - to the point that he was physically assaulted by a hatchet man hired by one of them. He may also be China's best-known assailant against religion and traditional Chinese medicine.

On Sept 7, 2013, Fang tweeted about a field trip he organized in which he and 20 volunteers harvested GM corn and then had a cooking and tasting fest. "It may not have research value, but it can promote science," he said. "We should create an environment for every Chinese to have a daily diet of GM food."

This riled Cui, who responded by saying: "You can choose to eat GM food and I can choose not to. You say you know science, but I can question whether the 'science' you know is scientific or not."

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