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Top legislature pushes for genetic safety rules

Updated: 2013-12-28 21:50
( Xinhua)

BEIJING -- China's top legislature Saturday suggested that the State Council, China's cabinet, research legislation on genetic resource management and safety.

A total of 30 national lawmakers filed a motion on drafting a law on genetic resources at the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) in March this year.

The NPC Environment and Resources Protection Committee reviewed the motion and passed it over to the State Council, urging the cabinet to carefully consider their ideas and initiate research to draft the law, said a report passed by the NPC Standing Committee at its bimonthly session.

Lawmakers argued in the motion that China has very rich genetic resources but legislation clearly lags behind technological development.

Currently, the Ministry of Agriculture has a regulation on biological safety of genetic modified farm produce. The Ministry of Science and Technology is drafting a regulation on human genetic resources while the State Forestry Administration is working on a regulation on genetically modified plants.

China will need a law protecting and exploiting genetic resources as well as safeguarding genetic safety, the motion held.

At the March session, lawmakers handed in several bills on amending the 1987 law on air pollution, which has already been revised twice in 1995 and 2000.

The NPC Standing Committee has listed it in its legislation plan. It will speed up the drafting procedure and lawmakers' proposals have been incorporated into a draft prepared by the Environmental Protection Ministry, the report said.

Another focus for amendment was the law on protection of wild animals. A total of 130 lawmakers submitted four bills about its revision in March.

The NPC Standing Committee agreed that the 1988 law needs amending to meet new issues and it has been preparing for the drafting, according to the report.