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China steadily advances industrial application of biological breeding

Xinhua | August 25, 2023


China's industrial application of biological breeding has been advancing steadily, the country's agricultural authorities have said.

Major progress has been achieved in gene mining, genetic transformation, variety breeding, as well as safety evaluation and management, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a Q&A on Thursday.

A number of genetically modified varieties, based on a full evaluation of their safety and effectiveness, have been granted safety certificates in accordance with the law, said the ministry.

The country launched pilot projects focused on the industrialization of genetically modified corn and soybeans in 2021 and expanded the pilot scheme to 20 counties in five provincial-level regions this year. A seed production program has also kicked off in northwest China's Gansu Province.

These genetically modified crops showed both outstanding herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant traits and could see a 5.6 to 11.6 percent rise in yields, said the ministry.

After decades of research and development efforts concerning biological seeding, China now enjoys a solid foundation in this field and owns intellectual property rights to all the genetically modified varieties approved for piloting, it said.

While pushing forward the pilot scheme, the Chinese government is also carrying out strict oversight in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, the ministry noted.

To ensure that the industrial application of bio-breeding advances in an orderly fashion, efforts are being made to crack down on illegal activities in the production, planting, processing and sales of seeds in accordance with the law and to solidly implement the management system for product labels, it said.