China approves GM soy and corn seeds for planting

The move aims to boost production and reduce dependence on foreign supplies.

Soybean_Image by jcomp on Freepik
Credits: Jcomp, Freepik
October 25, 2023

China approved genetically modified corn and soybean seed varieties for planting in a move to boost production and reduce dependence on foreign supplies, Bloomberg reported.

A national committee approved 37 GM corn seeds and 14 soybean seed varieties.

The country is the world’s top importer of soybeans and corn. In 2021, China started a pilot program for the commercial planting of GM corn and soy crops. Large-scale trials were carried out in 20 counties in five provinces this year, which the agriculture ministry said showed “outstanding” results, Reuters reported. The tests only involved animal feed. The list of approved varieties is open for public comment until November 15, 2023, according to the ministry notice.

After the approval, it is not clear when commercial sales will be available since planting area arrangements need to be approved, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, Russian grain export company EPT signed a contract with China to supply 70 million tons of Russian grains, legumes and oilseeds, Reuters reported.