China - Agricultural biotechnology, annual report
August 13, 2012
USDA/FAS GAIn report CH 12046
China is currently the sixth largest producer of biotechnology enhanced plants (primarily Bt cotton) based on total acreage (3.9 million hectares in 2011). The central government plans to actively foster the agriculture biotech industry as an emerging strategic sector.
Current trends suggest that China will remain a significant importer of biotech products and may become an exporter of biotechnology in the medium to long term. China is currently the sixth largest producer of biotechnology enhanced plants based on total acreage (3.9 million hectares in 2011), and the central government is actively fostering the agriculture biotech industry as an emerging strategic sector for the country. China’s Ministry of Agriculture issued bio-safety certificates for Chinese developed biotech rice and corn in November 2009, the first time for a staple food crop for domestic cultivation.
China’s regulatory infrastructure is still developing, and includes biotech regulations that present market access impediments. The barriers include asynchronous approval, which requires that a product must be fully approved from an exporting country before an application can be filed for approval in China, inadequate protection for intellectual property rights, a restrictive low level presence threshold of 0 percent, and no clear policy on stacked events. Moreover, Chinese biotech regulations and application procedures for new products lack transparency, and currently no foreign biotech crops for domestic commercial production have been approved.
From late 2011 to early 2012, the Chinese government issued many 12th Five-year Plans that focus on developing key industries/sectors, which includes agricultural biotechnology. These major plans are: 1) “12th Five-Year Plan on National Economic and Social Development”; 2) “12th Five-Year Plan for National Agriculture and Rural Economic Development”; 3) “12th Five-year Plan for Development of Biotechnologies”; and 4) “12th Five-year Plan (2011-2015) on Agricultural Science and Technology Development.”
To increase consumer education, Chinese government public outreach efforts and other media are explaining the benefits and development of agricultural biotechnology products. Despite these efforts, consumer opinion appears somewhat mixed, as some prefer to believe rumors spread by scholars, non-governmental organizations, and others who may not be very supportive of agricultural biotechnology.
More news from: USDA - FAS (Foreign Agricultural Service)
Published: August 13, 2012
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