MARKET ANALYSIS

CHINA TO APPROVE FURTHER DOMESTIC GMO CORN, SOY CROP VARIETIES

China has set to approve the safety of another genetically modified (GMO) corn variety and a GMO soybean, both produced by Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co Ltd.

The move comes after China last year approved three domestically designed GMO crops as safe, the first in a decade, in a fresh push towards commercial planting of GMO crops in the world’s top soybean importer and a major corn buyer.

Beijing has never permitted planting of GMO soybean or corn varieties but it permits their import for use in animal feed. The government has said recently, however, that it wants to support biotech breeding to boost food security, leading the industry to expect progress towards commercialization in the coming year.

Though several further steps must be taken before farmers in China are allowed to plant the crops, the approval is seen as timely given a growing corn deficit in the world’s top grain grower.

“The arrival of GMOs can bring an increase in production efficiency,” said Mao Yifan, analyst at Industrial Securities. The ministry had approved two new GMO corn varieties for import, the glyphosate-resistant and insect-resistant MON87411 sold by Bayer’s Crop Science unit and MZIR098 produced by Syngenta.