Will China relax GMO cultivation restrictions in wake of Syngenta takeover?

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Although China imports preapproved GM foods, the agriculture ministry has never approved a biotech food crop—other than papaya, a minor one [which is imported]8—for cultivation. But that could soon change, with the planned takeover of Swiss seed giant Syngenta by Chinese state-owned chemical company ChemChina.

Syngenta produces herbicides, fungicides, and conventional hybrid seeds. It also sells billions of dollars worth of GM seeds—40% of its global seed sales—including drought-tolerant varieties and Viptera GM corn, which is engineered to control pests. ChemChina’s $43 billion acquisition offer—the largest foreign deal ever for China—hinges on approvals from EU antitrust regulators, who have set a 12 April [2017] deadline for a decision. If it proceeds, the move will make China a major player in agricultural biotechnology, a long-sought goal.

The emergence of a massive state-owned company in possession of competitive GM seed lines could help speed commercialization, [Loren Puette, director of the agricultural consulting firm ChinaAg in Taipei syas]—provided the Chinese public allows it.

Widespread skepticism of government food safety claims, fueled by scandals including tainted infant formula, dumplings laced with heavy metals, and exploding watermelons, has subverted public acceptance of GM foods.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: China aims to sow a revolution with GM seed takeover (behind paywall)

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia

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