March 25, 2024


China approves new genetically modified corn and soybean varieties



China has given the green light to 27 genetically modified corn seed varieties and 3 GM soybean varieties in its latest move to bolster the development and cultivation of high-yield crops, Reuters reported.


China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs announced the approval, expanding the country's list of authorised GM crops. Among the approved seed varieties are those owned by Dabeinong and China National Seed Group, a unit of Syngenta Group.


While China has traditionally exercised caution in adopting GM crops, it signalled a shift in policy in January by announcing plans to scale up the planting of GM soybeans and corn. Pilot projects demonstrated promising results in enhancing yields and reducing costs compared to conventional seeds.


As the world's largest importer of soybeans and corn, China aims to bolster domestic production by adopting higher-yield seeds, with the goal of reducing its annual grain imports, which exceed 100 million metric tons.


The list of approved varieties is currently open for public feedback until April 17, 2024, according to the ministry's notice.


According to the notice, once approved, the actual planting of these varieties must adhere to the relevant regulations governing national biological breeding industrialisation.


-      Reuters

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