Market News & Headlines >> Vilsack: China Has Approved Viptera Corn

China has finally approved imports of Syngenta’s genetically modified Agrisure Viptera (MIR 162) corn and also approved imports two varieties of transgenic soybeans, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack confirmed on Wednesday at a U.S.-China trade forum in Chicago.

Secretary Vilsack told reporters that Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang told him MIR 162 had been approved by China’s Ministry of Agriculture along with soybean varieties developed by DuPont Pioneer and Bayer CropScience. Vilsack did not know the names of the soybean varieties involved.

"He just simply said the ministry of agriculture has approved these events," Vilsack said of China's vice premier. Vilsack spoke with Wang Yang at the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, and said it was not unusual for Beijing to take action ahead of the forum.

However, the import approvals do not represent a loosening of China's sluggish regulatory review process for GMO crops, Vilsack said. "Their system is what it is," he said of China's review process. "You get approvals sometimes, and sometimes you don't."

Syngenta, DuPont and Bayer are still waiting for official notice of the new import approvals from China, Darci Vetter, chief agricultural negotiator in the office of the United States Trade Representative told Reuters News Service.