China approves five GM crops for import

China has approved five genetically modified (GM) crops for import after its first face-to-face talks with the USA on 7 January since the two countries agreed a 90-day truce in their trade war, reports Reuters.

“It’s a goodwill gesture toward the resolution of the trade issue,” said a Chinese representative of a US agricultural industry association. “It’s been in the system for a long time but they chose today to release this good news,” he added, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. The GM products that China has approved are DowDuPont Inc’s DP4114 Qrome corn; DAS-44406-6 soyabean, known as Enlist E3; the SYHT0H2 soyabean developed by Bayer CropScience and Syngenta; BASF’s RF3 canola; and Bayer-owned Monstanto’s MON 88302 canola.
China also extended import approvals for 26 other GM crops by three years.
However, five other products were not approved, including GM alfalfa products developed by Monsanto and two DowDuPont soyabean traits.
Reuters said the USA had been demanding that China change its GM crop import application process to make it more transparent, timely and based on scientific methods, as many products had been stuck in the regulatory process for years.
The last GM crops approved for import was in July 2017.
The news agency added that US farmers have been anxiously waiting to decide which seeds to plant this spring as they did not widely plant varieties not approved by China.
China bought 60% of US soyabeans before the trade war, when Beijing imposed a 25% import duty on US soyabeans on 6 July in response to US tariffs. However, it had so far only bought 5M tonnes of the 2018 US soya harvest.