China commits to making biotech approval process ‘timely and science-based’

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China has agreed to improve an agricultural biotechnology approval process that U.S. industry officials say has left a number of new products in limbo.

The commitment, was outlined in a fact sheet issued by the White House on September 25th. U.S. industry officials are looking for China to accelerate final import approvals for seven biotech traits and to speed up consideration of other genetically engineered crops in the pipeline.

The White House fact sheet said the two countries “committed to further improve” the approval process.

“Both sides reaffirmed the importance of implementing timely, transparent, predictable, and science-based approval processes for products of agricultural biotechnology, which are based on international standards,” the fact sheet said.

Matt O’Mara, with the Biotechnology Industry Organization, praised the administration’s work in winning the commitment, which he called “an important first step.” He cautioned that streamlining China’s approval process is still likely to be “a long-term process.”

In a joint press conference with Obama, Xi didn’t address the biotech issue but listed agriculture as one area where the countries would “expand mutually beneficial cooperation.”

Ahead of Xi’s visit, farm groups, biotech companies, and more than 40 senators and more than 100 House members had written the White House, urging Obama to raise the issue with Xi. Twelve Democrats, including the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, signed the Senate letter.

Read full, original post: China commits to ‘further improve’ biotech approval process

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