China greenlights 5 new genetically modified crops amid trade talks


International | Written by : IANS| Updated:


China greenlights 5 new genetically modified crops amid trade talks

Beijing, Jan 8 (IANS) China approved imports of five new varieties of genetically modified crops, paving the way for US agricultural firms to sell more biotech seeds to Chinese buyers, as Beijing and Washington seek to ease trade tensions.

The approval, which included soybean, canola and corn products, came as US and Chinese officials meet in Beijing to hammer out details on a number of broad pledges made by the Chinese leadership, Efe news reported.

China last made new approvals of genetically modified crops in June 2017. 

In addition to the five new approvals, 26 other genetically modified crop varieties were given renewed approvals for importing into China, the report said. 

For the US farm sector, the move was another step towards clearing a backlog of biotech seeds that awaited approval from China, in some cases for years. 

Tuesday's announcement opened the door for more imports of agricultural products from the US, although it was difficult to gauge the exact impact, said He Yuxin, a soybean analyst at Zhuochuang, a commodities consultancy firm based in eastern Shandong province. 

"If the trade talks go smoothly, China will for sure import more soybeans from the US," said He. "It's still too early to say by how much. After all, China has diversified imports of agricultural products from other countries."