China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) released its first announcement of biosafety certificates for GMO crops in 2022 as the country is moving closer towards GMO commercialization.
Issued on 29 April 2022 and available for download on MARA’s website, the list comprises 11 imported GMO crops approved for feed processing, including GM soybean and corn crops from multinationals BASF, Bayer, Corteva and Bioceres, as well as 36 domestically developed GMO traits. Amongst the latter, four new corn varieties received biosafety approval, with one variety produced by Hangzhou Ruifeng Biotech, which already owns GMO corn traits approved as safe by the government, and the remainder by China National Seed Group.
The announcement followed an earlier round of biosafety approvals for domestic GMO corn types issued in December 2021 and will likely improve China’s corn output prospects as the country prepares to harness biotechnology to help achieve national food security goals.
While China has made significant investments in biotechnology over the last decade, authorities are yet to allow domestic production of GMO crops for commercial purposes. New regulations from November 2021 streamlining biosafety approval for GMO crops are widely regarded as paving the way towards the long-anticipated commercialization of GMO corn in the world’s second largest producing country. GMO corn varieties used as animal feed are expected to be commercialized as early as 2022 amid concerns over rising feed grain imports.
Source: 2022年农业转基因生物安全证书批准清单, MARA, (accessed 19 May 2022).