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EYE ON CHINA
China approves five genetically modified crops
GM crops approved include canola, soybean and corn

China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has approved five genetically modified (GM) crops for import, the first in about 18 months in a move that could boost its overseas grains purchases and ease pressure from the United States to open its markets to more farm goods.

The approved crops are RF3 canola, originally developed by Bayer and now owned by BASF; Monsanto’s glyphosate-tolerant MON 88302 canola; DuPont Pioneer DP4114 corn; Syngenta’s SYHT0H2 soybean; and Dow AgroSciences’ DAS-44406-6 soybean.

The United States is the world’s biggest producer of GM crops, while China is the top importer of GM soybeans and canola.

China had not approved any GM crops for import since July 2017, when it cleared two products following high-level talks with Washington. It also approved two products in June 2017.

The approvals came as farmers in North America were deciding which seeds to plant this spring. China before the trade war bought some 60 per cent of U.S. soybeans and U.S. farmers do not widely plant varieties it has not approved.

“It’s a goodwill gesture towards the resolution of the trade issue,” said a China representative of a US agricultural industry association.

China does not allow the planting of genetically modified food crops, but imports of GM crops such as soybeans and corn for animal feed are fine.

The ministry also announced the extension of import approvals for 26 other GM crops by a further three years.

Source: Reuters; South China Morning Post

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