China backs GMO soybeans in push for hi-tech foods
China seeks to raise production efficiency, boosting output of the crop by the world’s top soy importer and consumer.
The blueprint, published on the Chinese government’s website, proposes “pushing forward commercialisation of new pest-resistant cotton, pest-resistant corn and herbicide-resistant soybeans”.
he use of the technology for corn was flagged in April when an agriculture official said Beijing may greenlight GMO crops in the next five years.
Corn is used mostly in animal feed and industrial goods like starch and sweeteners; a move to biotech crops could be less contentious than with soybeans.
Support for new soybean varieties comes as China seeks to overhaul its crop structure. Farmers are being encouraged to switch from growing corn to soybeans and to rotate between crops. ■