China approved two new varieties of genetically modified (GMO) crops for import from June 12, after the world’s top buyer of GMO soybeans pledged to speed up a review of biotech products as part of a recent trade deal with the United States.
The approvals of new GMO imports follow an agreement on protocols for shipments of U.S. beef to China that was also promised under the broader trade deal last month.
The new GMO varieties are Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist corn and Monsanto’s Vistive Gold soybean.
China does not permit the planting of genetically modified food crops but does allow GMO imports, such as soybeans, for use in its animal feed industry.
The agriculture ministry said it has also renewed import approvals for 14 other GMO varieties.
This comes against the backdrop of a court case in Kansas City involving a lawsuit against Swiss seed giant Syngenta, which is accused of causing billions of dollars of damage by introducing a GMO corn seed to American farmers before it was approved by China.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch