China to produce country’s first genetically modified corn in 2013

Origin Agritech corn can help pigs digest phosphorus, enhance growth, reduce animal waste pollution

Origin Agritech Ltd. said it expects to commercially produce China’s first genetically modified corn strain in 2013, pending government approval, according to company chairman Han Gengchen.

Once approved, the U.S.-listed, Beijing-based company expects the acreage for the corn to account for 10 percent of China’s total corn acreage within 10 years. “We have bred the gene on local hybrid seeds which are popularly used and generate high yields,” said Gengchen. ”The safety approval process (for seed use) would be faster and likely be this year and we will start production next year.”

The genetically modified corn can help pigs digest more phosphorus, enhancing growth and reducing pollution from animal waste. China is already the world’s largest importer of genetically modified soybeans, with annual imports accounting for roughly 60 percent of globally traded soybeans.