China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) issued new and renewed biosafety certificates for genetically modified (GM) crops approved for import as processing materials in January 2023, following the conclusion of the December 2022 meeting of the National Biosafety Committee (NBC). The biosafety certificates are valid for five years. The approvals include three new GM cotton events developed by BASF, Bayer, and Corteva, two renewed GM cotton events developed by BASF, one new GM rapeseed event developed by Corteva, two new GM sugarcane events developed by the Brazil Sugarcane Technology Center, and two new GM alfalfa events developed by Bayer.
The certificates for GM alfalfa and sugarcane are the first time China has approved such genetically modified varieties for import. In addition, eight approvals for import are a first. In recent years, the NBC has approved only one or two new events. The approvals for rapeseed and alfalfa conclude three of the longest-running applications by foreign developers, each of which began the application process more than a decade ago.
The announcement additionally included the renewal of 32 biosafety certificates and six new ones for domestic cultivation or production. Among the renewals are 29 biosafety certificates for genetically modified cotton and three for animal vaccines. The new approvals include two for genetically modified corn, one for genetically modified soybeans, and three for animal vaccines.
- FAS China Staff, Garrett McDonald, MARA Issues New and Renewed GE Biosafety Certificates, No CH2023-0007, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) January 17, 2023. (accessed January 18, 2023)