Market News & Headlines >> China to Approve More GMO Corn Varieties

China plans to approve the safety of more genetically modified (GMO) corn varieties produced by domestic companies, the country's agriculture ministry said late on Monday.

The move comes after Beijing last month proposed an overhaul of seed regulations to ease the way for approval of GMO crops and as top policy makers urged progress in biotech breeding, seen as key to ensuring food security, Reuters News Service noted.

The three new corn products include ND207 produced by China National Tree Seed Corp and China Agricultural University, Zheda Ruifeng 8 made by Hangzhou Ruifeng Biotech Co and DBN3601T from Beijing Dabeinong Biotechnology Co, according to the notice posted on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

The plan to approve the new corn varieties, along with seven new GMO cotton products, will be open for public comment until Jan. 17, the ministry said. Safety approval is seen as a major step towards commercialization of GMO crops, but it is still unclear when the new products will be ready for a market launch. Beijing has so far not permitted the planting of GMO soybean or corn varieties, but it allows their import for use in animal feed.