China showing signs of GMO approval, says Bob Reiter, Global Head of R&D Crop Science Bayer
Apr. 1, 2021
By Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages
Bob Reiter, Global Head of Research and Development, Crop Science division of Bayer, granted an interview to AgroPages during the meeting on “Global Crop Science Pipeline Media Call” in March. Based in Monheim, Germany, Reiter oversees the crop science research and development pipeline, leading thousands of scientists in the creation of world-class agricultural solutions.
Bayer launched ten new crop protection formulations, and three biotechnology traits advancing to the launch phase. These include Intacta 2 Xtend soybean, which has been granted all regulatory approvals and is expected to be launched in Brazil by the end of 2021. This enhancement of the Intacta franchise will support farmers across South America with multiple modes of action for insect control.
AgroPages: How is the approval schedule progressing for Intacta soybean (GMO) in China?
Bob Reiter: China is such an important market for agricultural products and therefore we always need to be certain about the regulatory approvals for imports, particularly of soybean to the Chinese market. In the last twelve months, I would say we have seen improvements in approvals for both corn and soybeans.
For China is important that they have access to the importation of crops and also productivity in order to ensure that they got affordability to these crops. So I hope this new trend terms of import approval rules but, the more times we see, the more times we will feel comfortable with that. It is a short-term trend we see and we hope to extend to a long-term trend.
AgroPages: Do these recent releases of other GMO technologies indicate a trend towards openness? Does the orientation of increasing local Chinese products also play in its favor?
Bob Reiter: Whether some of that is related to the commitment made by China to the United States government, and whether it is related to the first phase of the trade deal, the whole point of biotechnology approval was an important point from the US government perspective.
But I also think there is some influence here, of course, from China’s perspective and the continuous requirement to be able to import protein in the form of soybeans. And also, recently they have some problems with their corn crop. What we have announced today is just a snapshot of what we are working on as we continue to shape agriculture to meet the growing needs of farmers, consumers and the planet.
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