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China approves 26 seed companies for GMO corn and soybeansqrcode

Dec. 28, 2023

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Dec. 28, 2023

China has issued licences to 26 domestic seed companies to produce, distribute and sell genetically modified corn and soybean seeds in certain provinces, paving the way for commercial planting of the GMO grains.

The companies named in a notice from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on Monday include Beijing Dabeinong Technology 002385.SZ and China National Seed, now owned by Syngenta Group.

Other licensed companies include those operating in the major grain-producing provinces of Hebei, Liaoning, Jilin and Inner Mongolia.

This is China's first batch of companies to receive seed production and operation licences for GMO corn and soybeans, the GLOCON Agritech Co-Innovation Institute said in a note.

Though cautious about GMO technology, Beijing has been slowly moving to open up the market. It has approved more than a dozen genetic changes since 2019.

The world's biggest buyer of soybeans and corn wants to reduce its reliance on imports amounting to more than 100 million metric tons a year to feed its livestock.

Commercial planting of GMO varieties will boost yields and could significantly lower future purchases from the United States and Brazil.

Three industry sources told Reuters this month that Chinese corn breeders are preparing for the planting of about 670,000 hectares of GMO corn in eight provinces next year, more than double the amount planted in 2023.

But Beijing is still expected to tightly control the rollout of GMOs.

Large-scale trials of GMO soy and corn were carried out this year, which the agriculture ministry said showed "outstanding" results and that the technology was safe and essential.

Source: Reuters


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