China Makes Unprecedented Decision, Approves Eight New GM Crops

by | Jan 19, 2023 | News, Policy

On Jan. 13, 2023, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) announced new and renewed biosafety certificates that encompassed eight genetically modified crops. This decision followed the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) meeting held in December 2022, according to a release.

Eight new and two renewed certificates were issued for GM crops approved as processing materials for import. Three new GM cotton events were developed by BASF, Bayer and Corteva. Two renewed GM cotton events were created by BASF, one GM rapeseed event was developed by Corteva, two GM sugarcane events were developed through the Brazil Sugarcane Technology Center and two GM alfalfa events were created by Bayer. The validity period will be five years for the new and renewed biosafety certificates.

This set of approvals are notable in many ways, according to the release. The GM alfalfa and sugarcane certificates reached the milestone of becoming the first GM varieties of the sort to be approved by China for import. After a multitude of years where NBC gave approval for only one or two events, the eight approvals for import are a massive feat.

The approvals of rapeseed and alfalfa conclude three of the most prolonged foreign developer applications — each spanned over a decade. The decision also included the renewal of domestic cultivation/production for 32 biosafety certificates, with 29 GM cotton events and three animal vaccines. There were six new cultivation/production approvals, including “two GM corn events, one GM soybean event, and three animal vaccines,” continued the release.

To learn more about the approvals, check out the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service’s Voluntary Report. For the lists of import certifications that were approved and the new and renewed cultivation/production certificates, go to the MARA website.

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