Over the past six years, he and his colleagues at Beijing Houzhi Technology Co. Ltd. have trained more than 200 media professionals on the topic of agricultural biotechnology, helping them to share accurate information about genetically modified (GM) foods with their audiences across the country.
“Food safety has always been a hot topic among the Chinese people,” he says. “I was attracted to reporting on GM because of my curiosity about new technology. On a more personal note, I grew up on a farm and saw how hard everyone had to work, and I wanted to discover how new agricultural technology could help farmers.”
During that process of discovery, Hong learned that biotechnology “can help farmers and consumers in many countries around the world, across a broad range of varying local conditions and circumstances. Some of the benefits include the potential reduction in the use of pesticides and less soil erosion,” he notes. “In addition to protecting the environment, GM technology may also provide highly nutritious food for consumers.”
Hong has employed his knowledge and communication skills to compile books and write detailed reports about agricultural technology. He sees science as a tool to improve the sustainability of agricultural production and protect ecological diversity.
“I try to observe China’s work in GM from various perspectives to try to understand what causes people to hold different views, and I share these perspectives with my friends in the GM industry,” he says.
As a result of his expertise and open-mindedness, he’s become a trusted and well-respected resource for both scientists and media.
“Agricultural biotechnology emerges naturally in the process of scientific development, so there is no need to make a fuss,” Hong says.