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BUSINESS & SEEDS: Profits and shares of Chinese GE crop company Origin Agritech fall



                                  PART 1


------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   ORIGIN AGRITECH PROFIT PLUNGES; SHARES FALL

SOURCE:  Thomson Reuters, USA

AUTHOR:  Swetha Gopinath

URL:     http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/14/originagritech-idUSL3E7KE2FY20110914

DATE:    14.09.2011

SUMMARY: "China-based Origin Agritech Ltd posted market-lagging results for the fifth straight quarter amid a slow uptake for genetically modified seeds in the country, the world?s largest grain producer. The agricultural biotechnology company?s U.S.-listed shares tumbled 27 percent to $2.10 percent before the bell on Wednesday. [...] public debate over the safety of GMO food, coupled with a long approval process, means China may not rush to use GMO seeds widely in the near term."

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ORIGIN AGRITECH PROFIT PLUNGES; SHARES FALL

- Shares down 27 percent premarket

- CEO Liang Yuan resigns

- Subsidiary to withdraw seed registration

- Q3 rev nearly halves to $37.4 million

- Q3 EPS $0.09 vs est $0.75

Sept 14 (Reuters) - China-based Origin Agritech Ltd posted market-lagging results for the fifth straight quarter amid a slow uptake for genetically modified seeds in the country, the world?s largest grain producer.

The agricultural biotechnology company?s U.S.-listed shares tumbled 27 percent to $2.10 percent before the bell on Wednesday.

China approved the use of genetically modified strains of rice and corn in late 2009, opening the door for commercial production. As early as 2009, Origin had secured exclusive rights for the first genetically modified corn seed product in the country.

However, public debate over the safety of GMO food, coupled with a long approval process, means China may not rush to use GMO seeds widely in the near term.

Origin Agritech?s third-quarter profit plunged 86 percent, prompting the agricultural biotechnology company to slash its full-year revenue outlook.

The crop seed company reported a quarterly profit of 9 cents a share on revenue of $37.4 million.

Analysts had expected the company to earn 75 cents a share and revenue of $75.87 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company lowered its revenue outlook for the year to 530-550 million yuan from 600-650 million yuan.

The Beijing-based company also said its Chief Executive Liang Yuan, who assumed the role in January 2009, has resigned for personal reasons. Chairman Gengchen Han will assume the role of acting CEO.

To cut costs, Origin?s Jilin Changrong unit will withdraw its seed registration and merge into the company?s northeastern seed corn market.

Jilin Changrong was formed as a joint venture between Origin and Jinong Hi-tech, in which Origin directly held a 53.95 percent stake. (Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)



                                  PART 2

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   ANTI-GM FOOD PROTESTERS CLAIM CROPS ARE UNSAFE

SOURCE:  Global Times, China

AUTHOR:  Yan Shuang

URL:     http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/675011/Anti-GM-food-protesters-claim-crops-are-unsafe.aspx

DATE:    13.09.2011

SUMMARY: "Some 40 people protested against genetically modified food outside the Ministry of Agriculture Friday. The protesters said Monday they are unsure if their concerns will be addressed. They carried banners accusing the ministry of being traitors who approve of the industrialization of GM staple foods in China, and of caring little about residents? health. The protesters, all of them Beijing residents who met on anti-GM food Internet forums, had signed a joint letter asking the ministry to stop advocating GM staple grains in China. About 80 people signed the letter, including experts and some former government officials."

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ANTI-GM FOOD PROTESTERS CLAIM CROPS ARE UNSAFE

Some 40 people protested against genetically modified (GM) food outside the Ministry of Agriculture Friday. The protesters said Monday they are unsure if their concerns will be addressed.

They carried banners accusing the ministry of being traitors who approve of the industrialization of GM staple foods in China, and of caring little about residents? health.

The protesters, all of them Beijing residents who met on anti-GM food Internet forums, had signed a joint letter asking the ministry to stop advocating GM staple grains in China. About 80 people signed the letter, including experts and some former government officials. The protest lasted around half an hour, when the ministry sent officials to talk to the protesters.

According to protesters, the officials avoided important questions in the subsequent discussion, which were directly related to their own interests.

?Do you eat GM food? I asked, and they said, ?yes.? But when we requested that we send inspectors to their cafeteria, they refused,? said one of the protesters, who insisted on anonymity.

Opinions toward genetically modified food have been divided in the academic field around the world. Protesters and some experts say it is dangerous to health, while supporters say the technique is safe.

?There?s no argument about whether GM technology is safe or not. The key is how to use it scientifically,? Peng Yufa, a researcher with Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said in the Beijing Evening News on August 24.

There has been no food safety or environmental threats proven to have been caused by GM food, so the public should not believe rumors and mix up ordinary food safety issues with GM food, said Kou Jianping, an official with the ministry, in the report.

The ministry first granted two safety licenses for GM paddy rice and corn, respectively established by an academician and a university professor in 2009. China has also been increasingly importing GM soybeans from countries including the US and Brazil, according to independent scholar, Yang Fangzhou, who also participated in Friday?s protest.

?The ministry is advocating the commercialization of GM food in China, while banning it from their tables at the same time,? he told the Global Times. GM food can affect human fertility and the functions of internal organs, he said.

According to protesters, the kindergarten of the Ministry of Agriculture had at one time published a notice on their website for newly recruited children, to guarantee the cooking oil they used was not genetically modified.

?Why would they popularize it while keeping themselves and their children from it?? said the anonymous protester.

The ministry did not respond to this matter either, he said. The municipal Commission of Education uses GM edible oil to cook lunches for primary and middle school students, he said. The anti-GM activists sent three letters to the commission and garnered 4,000 signatures from parents in Beijing who are against the use of GM food.

Ministry officials have agreed to submit the letter to their superiors, but it is unlikely they will respond, given the benefit they get from importing GM grains from other countries, said Yang.