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China vows "active, cautious" GMO food stance | Updated: 2014-01-16 09:50

An official has stressed China's "active and cautious" policy toward genetically modified (GMO) food, with the safety certificates for the country's GMO rice and corn expiring soon.

The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to scrutinize the commercial production of GMO food, vowed Chen Xiaohua, deputy minister of the MOA, on Wednesday.

Chen's comments in response to a question at a press conference put the spotlight on the hot issue as the safety certificates for China's GMO rice and corn are scheduled to expire this year and their commercial production is yet to be started.

"By 'active,' I mean we will strengthen research and try to breed new GMO strains with our own intellectual property rights as soon as possible, so that we can take the lead in this field," he told reporters.

"By 'cautious,' I mean we will work to ensure safety in promoting and applying GMO products. That's why we have made strict laws and regulations and set up a whole set of safety evaluation mechanisms and a regulating chain involving various departments."

"Concerning the industrialization of research and development results, we will take the same policy," according to Chen.

Chinese authorities have set no timetable on the commercial production of GMO food, the deputy minister added.

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