China publishes experimental rules for genetically modified plants
The new directive, released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on Monday morning, comes amid growing efforts to improve the country’s seed industry, which is said to be a weak link in efforts to ensure national food security.
Beijing has also recently introduced new rules that will pave the way for the adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops. Gene editing is a new technology that is considered less dangerous than GM because it does not involve the addition of any foreign genes to the plant.
Instead, scientists ‘edit’ or modify it in order to improve or modify the genes in plants, to get better yields, or to get more nutrients. The accuracy of the technology makes it much faster than conventional breeding or genetic modification, and it also reduces costs. In some lands the rules are very strict.
“This really opens the door to plant breeding. It is an endless opportunity to improve crops accurately and efficiently, ”said Han Gengchen, chairman of Origen Agrittech Seed.
The draft law stipulates that upon completion of experimental experiments on genetically modified plants, it is possible to apply for a production certificate and skip the long field trials required for genetic modification approval.
China’s leadership says by the end of 2020, the country should take advantage of the “transformation” of the seed industry, which has long struggled with science and technology beyond its capacity.
Beijing is expected to allow GM corn to be sown earlier this year, and will soon introduce genetically supported crops.
The country’s research institutes have published more studies on market-oriented crops than any other country, Rabbanbank reported. “In light of the Chinese government’s strong investment in genome editing, we expect a relatively clear policy in the coming years,” he said in a recent statement.