China’s approval of 5 GMO crop imports could fuel investment boom in biotech research

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Image Credit: Gapping World

Lost in the news of contentious U.S.-China trade disputes was a meaningful regulatory approval that will improve agriculture around the world.

[In January] Chinese regulators approved the import of five genetically modified crops. These soybean, corn and canola “biotech traits” are designed to grow despite natural obstacles like pest infestation….

This little-noticed agreement will have a big impact on the U.S. agriculture industry. China has accounted for about 60% of total U.S. soy exports, representing $12 billion in trade for American farmers. Those figures may grow; the newly-approved crops will be in high demand.

The agricultural industry must increase investments in biotechnology. New soil-management, crop-protection and seed-enhancement techniques—which promise to make plants more resistant to drought, disease and pests—sometimes take hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and decades to bring to market. The newly-open Chinese market will reward such innovation.

Related article:  Following trade negotiations, Argentina moves closer to exporting world's first GMO wheat

Any global regulatory system that reviews and ultimately approves these technologies must be science-based. GMO regulatory processes have historically been plagued by politicized disputes which needlessly delay the sale of these vital crops. Hopefully the new agreement with China is a sign that chapter has passed.

Read full, original article: China Opens the Door to U.S. GMOs

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