Chinese MoA gave on April 13, 2016 in Beijing a press conference and briefed the media on China’s developments of GMO.
China imported 81.7 million tonnes of soybean products in 2015; 88% of its total demand. Many of the imported soybean products are genetically modified as such products accounted for 82% of total soybean planting areas in the world in 2014. China became the world’s largest net importer of soybean in 1996 with a total import of 1.11 million tonnes. In the coming years, China will plant more non-GMO soybean and improve yields to fill the gap between supply and demand. By 2020, China will expand its soybean planting area to 140 million mu (9.3 million hectares), and yield per mu will be raised by 15 kg to 135 kg.
Roadmap for genetically modified crop.
China has mapped a plan for the future of genetically modified crops, giving priority to development of non-edible cash crops. Next in line comes indirectly edible crops, reflecting China’s prudent attitude to genetically modified crops. “China’s safety evaluation system on genetically modified crops is the world’s strictest in terms of technical standards and procedures”. For genetically modified crops, China currently only allows the plantation of insect-resistant cotton and antiviral papaya for commercial purposes, besides imports of genetically modified soybean, corn, rape-seed oil, cotton and sugar beet.
Greater oversight to prevent sale of unauthorized GM seeds.
The Ministry said it will focus to prevent unauthorized seeds from flowing into the market. The remark followed on a report from Greenpeace in January that claimed farmers were illegally growing genetically modified corn in northeastern China; 93% of samples taken by them from corn fields in five counties in Liaoning province last year tested positive for GM contamination.
Cultivation of pest resistant GM corn.
China could push forward with the commercial cultivation of pest resistant, genetically modified corn over the next five years. China is considering the move during the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020) period. The agricultural authority will also prioritize the commercial cultivation of GM cotton in the next five years. It was said that China cannot afford to be left behind in the GM sector and will continue to push forward with its independent innovation efforts.