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China approves new GMO Soybean, Papaya strains for imports

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

China has approved new strains of genetically-modified soybeans and papaya for imports and renewed permits for 10 crop varieties, including corn and canola, an agency report says.

The insect-resistant soybean variety had been developed by Dow AgroSciences LLC, according to a list published by China’s agriculture ministry on Monday, December 30.

ConsumerConnect learnt a genetically modified soybean is a soybean (Glycine max) that has had DNA introduced into it using genetic engineering techniques.

The papaya strain, which was resistant to some viruses, had been genetically altered by U.S. research institutes.

The approvals came as China and the U.S. were set to sign the first phase of their trade deal January 2020.

The two countries had agreed to speed up the approval process for imports of GMO crops as part of their efforts to boost bilateral trade.

China purchases more than 60 per cent of globally-traded soybeans, mainly from Brazil and the U.S., and is also the largest importer of canola, especially from Canada.

The oilseeds are processed into protein-rich meals to meet the country’s rising demand for livestock feed.

In 1996 the first genetically modified soybean was introduced to the U.S. market, by Monsanto.

The Asian country is the world’s second-largest corn consumer, states the source.

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