China poised to approve more GMO crops as influential board meets

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An influential Chinese scientific advisory board on genetically modified crops met last week for the first time in a year, two sources said, in a sign that Beijing may be preparing to approve new biotech crops for import.

The meeting, which took place from June 20 to June 22, according to one of the sources, comes amid escalating trade tension with the United States, the world’s top producer of GMO crops.

“The meeting happened last week,” said a second source with a Chinese seed company, who closely follows Beijing’s seed approval process.

Both people declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter and because meetings of the National Biosafety Committee, which guides Beijing on GMO safety, are confidential.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, which has the final say on approvals, did not respond to a fax seeking confirmation of the meeting.

No details of what was discussed were disclosed, but the committee’s meetings are keenly watched by seed companies because the panel typically reviews GMO crops for approval for import.

China does not permit the planting of genetically modified food crops, but does allow GMO imports, such as soybeans and corn, for use in its animal feed industry.

Read full, original article: China GMO crop panel meeting raises approval hopes: sources

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