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GM food research to continue amid prudent approach, official says

By Xu Wei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-07 14:29

China will continue to encourage GM food research and take prudent steps in marketing procedures, a leading agriculture official said on Tuesday.

Vice-Minister of Agriculture Zhang Taolin told a news conference that the country will continue to support GM food research by enabling the development of domestic technology and indigenous innovation.

It will continue to follow the previously designed roadmap of GM technology development, which allows the commercial marketing of non-edible crop varieties first, before allowing the marketing of varieties that are indirectly edible.

The marketing of directly edible varieties will come last, he said.

China has still to approve the marketing of GM grains. To date, agricultural authorities have only approved the marketing of domestic GM papaya and cotton.

Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu said at the news conference that the ministry will continue to crack down on the illegal cultivation of GM crops that have not been approved for commercial cultivation.

In 2015, authorities destroyed more than 66 hectares of corn-seed farms in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Gansu province. In Hainan province, authorities destroyed more than 6 hectares of GM corn.

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