China Opens Door to GM Crops for Import

Chinese Government Acts on GM Crops Ahead of Signing Trade Deal

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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The Chinese government this week approved for import several genetically modified crop traits. (DTN graphic)

OMAHA (DTN) -- With the signing of a phase-one trade deal between the United States and China perhaps just days away, the Chinese government on Monday approved for import two genetically modified crops and renewed permits for 10 others.

According to a document posted to China's agriculture ministry website, Corteva Agriscience's Bt soybean variety, DAS-81419-2, known as Conkesta, received a permit, in addition to disease-resistant papaya created by the USDA's Agricultural Research Center at the University of Hawaii. Corteva is targeting future commercialization of its Conkesta soybean variety to Latin America.

"Corteva Agriscience is pleased that the Chinese authorities have authorized the Conkesta soybean trait for import," the company said in a statement to DTN.

"We will continue to cooperate with Chinese regulators as they review our other trait -- Optimum GLY Canola -- that has been approved for several years in Canada and the U.S., as well as other import markets. The strength of the agricultural marketplace and competitiveness of American farmers hinges upon the ability to continually innovate. Global regulatory bodies must conduct predictable, transparent regulatory reviews based on sound science."

As part of the phase-one agreement reportedly to be signed on Jan. 15, 2020, China agreed to purchase agriculture commodities. Agribusinesses in the United States have been for years pressing the Chinese for a more open regulatory process when it comes to approval of crop technologies.

In addition, import permits were renewed for BASF's herbicide-resistant corn T25 (LibertyLink corn), herbicide-resistant soybean A5547-127 (LibertyLink soybean) and herbicide-resistant rapeseeds T45 (InVigor Canola), Oxy-235 (Navigator Canola) and Ms8Rf3 (InVigor Canola with pollination control); Monsanto's (Bayer) herbicide-resistant soybean MON89788 (Roundup Ready 2 soybean), insect-resistant cotton 15985 (Bollgard II cotton) and herbicide-resistant beet H7-1 (Roundup Ready sugarbeet). Also receiving renewal permits were Pioneer's (DuPont subsidiary) herbicide-resistant soybean 305423 x GTS40-3-2 (Roundup Ready Plenish soybean) and its 305423 soybean trait (Plenish high oleic soybean).

BASF and Bayer did not respond to DTN's request for comment at the time this article was posted.

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

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(EU/AG)

Todd Neeley