China’s decision to import next generation US-grown GMO herbicide-resistant crops will help American farmers struggling to fight hardy weeds

soybean
Credit: South China Morning Post

China’s approval of new genetically engineered crops will open a new front in U.S. farmers’ long-running war against hard-to-kill weeds.

The approval, outlined [January 8] by Chinese officials, clears the way for crop-seed and chemical maker DowDuPont to begin selling to U.S. farmers new soybean seeds modified to survive a powerful herbicide combination.

The seeds are designed for farmers struggling to stop weeds that have developed resistance to other sprays. Resistant weeds are spreading across the U.S. Farm Belt, cutting into farmers’ harvests and boosting their spending on chemicals.

DowDuPont’s soybeans, called Enlist, awaited China’s approval for years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2014 approved the seeds for sale to U.S. farmers, but DowDuPont held off on widely selling the seeds pending approval from China, the world’s biggest buyer of soybeans.

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China’s approval will help provide a new weapon against hard-to-kill weeds like waterhemp and palmer amaranth. Such weeds have developed resistance to glyphosate, the herbicide marketed by Bayer under the Roundup brand.

Chinese officials’ approvals of the new genetically engineered crops make good on part of a trade pact between China and the U.S. reached in May 2017….The country approved some, but held off on others like DowDuPont’s soybeans, frustrating U.S. seed-industry officials who for years have complained that China’s biotech crop approval process is opaque and unpredictable.

Read full, original article: China’s GMO Ruling Hands U.S. Farmers New Tool in Battle Against Weeds

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