China has approved five new genetically modified (GM) crops for import, the timing of which is believed to have been orchestrated to coincide with trade talks with the U.S.
This is the first time since July 2017 that China has approved GM crops for import. The newly approved crops are:
- DowDuPont Inc.’s DP4114 Qrome corn
- DowDuPont’s DAS-44406-6 soybean, known as Enlist E3
- SYHT0H2 soybean, developed by Bayer CropScience and Syngenta but now held by BASF
- BASF’s RF3 canola
- Monsanto’s glyphosate-tolerant MON 88302 canola
The approvals come just in time for North American farmers to decide what crops to plant in their fields for the 2019-20 growing season.
According to a Reuters report, five other GM products seeking approvals were denied, including two GM alfalfa products developed by Monsanto and two DowDuPont soybean traits.
China does not allow GM crops to be planted on its land, but the country imports them. China’s imports of U.S. soybeans have declined dramatically since trade tensions between the two countries began last year. But, since a truce was announced in December, China has resumed buying U.S. soybeans, with its first significant purchase of U.S. soybeans in more than six months reported in mid-December.
Trade talks end
Trade talks between representatives from the U.S. and China wrapped up on Wednesday, with China promising to buy “a substantial amount” of U.S. agricultural, energy and manufactured goods and services, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, which did not include further details.
The talks were reportedly extended one day, with signs of progress on several topics, including U.S. farm commodities.