China issues biosafety certificates for domestic GM corn, soybeans
Published: Jan 22, 2020 08:18 PM

Tourists visit an alley of Xinye ancient village in Jiande City, east China's Zhejiang Province, Oct. 5, 2019. The ancient town decorated with colorful crops attracts lots of visitors during the National Day holiday. (Xinhua)

China has issued biosafety certificates for some genetically modified (GM) corn and soybeans that grow domestically. This is the first time that domestic GM crops have been issued certificates in a decade, but experts noted it is still far from allowing the commercialization of GM products. 

The crops receiving the certificates include the SHZD32-01 soybeans developed by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, DBN9936 corn from Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group and the double-stacked 12-5 corn by Hangzhou Ruifeng Bitech Co, according to a list released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Jiao Shanwei, editor-in-chief of grain news website said that although the issuance of the certificates signifies a huge step in the research and development of GM crops, there is a long way to go before the government allows commercialization of the products, largely due to public concerns over safety. 

"China has a strict set of regulations on GM crops, including imports and those grown domestically," Jiao told the Global Times. "Currently GM soybeans are only allowed for animal feed and oil production, as the GM process affects mostly the soybean meal rather than the oil pressed from it."

The only commercial GM products in China include cotton and papaya, according to a report from news portal However, commercialization of key GM crops is highly unlikely under the new food strategy, which upholds food safety as the paramount guideline, Jiao said. "It is crucial to engage with and develop the technology of GM products, but I think for a long time we will only see commercialization of non-food GM products such as cotton," Jiao said. 

blog comments powered by Disqus