US wants China to import more GMO crops as part of trade deal

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The United States is seeking better access for imports of genetically modified crops into China as part of a trade deal currently under discussion between the two sides, said two people familiar with the matter.

The subject, long a major irritant in agricultural trade between the countries, is a main issue for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said a biotech industry source with knowledge of USDA discussions.

“I can say with full confidence that biotech is one of the key issues for USDA in this conversation with the Chinese,” the source said.

China does not permit planting of GMO food crops, but it does allow the import of GMO soybeans and corn for use in its huge animal feed industry.

However the approval process for new GMO strains is slow, unpredictable and not based on science, the biotech industry has said.

As the world’s top buyer of soybeans and a major buyer of other grains, China’s slow approval process stalls trade by forcing agrichemical firms to restrict sales of new products to American farmers until they get Beijing’s go-ahead.

Read full, original post: Exclusive: U.S. wants China to approve more biotech crops under trade deal – sources

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