China Govt Approves New GMO Crops

CHINA - China plans to import two new varieties of genetically modified crops from the United States, as it accelerates a review of biotech products as part of its broader efforts to promote economic and trade ties with the US.
calendar icon 19 June 2017
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The approvals came right after China finalised detailed protocols on imports of US beef. The outcome was arrived at due to the two nations' willingness over the past several months to enforce their 100-day action plan agreed by their top leaders, with a goal to establish a comprehensive economic dialogue.

Wu Laping, a professor of the College of Economic and Management at China Agricultural University, said the updated approvals to US agricultural products are based on the mutual benefits that the two sides stand to gain.

"Not only will it meet China's increasing domestic grain demand, but also contribute to growth in the US," he said.

In May, China pledged to speed up checks of eight US varieties of GMO crops under the bilateral trade deal.

Two of them received approval from China's Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday (14 June), said the ministry in a statement. The ministry gave permits to two US-based agriculture companies-Monsanto Co and Dow AgroSciences LLC-to ship their soybeans and corn to China from 12 June.

The ministry said it also renewed import approvals for 14 other GMO crops.

In China, foreign companies must obtain safety certificates issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, in order to export GMO crops to the market. Testing, production and marketing are subject to government approval.

Under the 100-day plan, imported crops will only be used as raw materials, and none are permitted to be grown in China, according to Wu Kongming, vice-president of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Commenting on Chinese consumers' deep concerns about the safety of GMO foodstuffs, Mr Wu said relevant government bodies are bound to take prudent measures to make evaluations and ensure food safety.

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