China drafts new rules to allow gene edited crops

China drafts new rules to allow gene edited crops

China drafts new rules to allow gene edited crops

Written by Staff Writer

25 Jan, 2022 | 1:23 pm

(News1st); China has published trial rules for the approval of gene-edited plants, laying the foundation for faster crop improvements.

The new guidelines, which were released on Monday (24) by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, are part of a slew of initiatives aimed at revamping the country’s seed industry, which is considered as a weak link in attempts to assure national food security.

Beijing has also recently passed new regulations that set out a clear path for approval for genetically modified (GM)crops.

Gene editing is a newer technology that is seen as less risky than GM because it does not involve adding any foreign genes to a plant.

Alternatively, scientists ‘edit’ or change genes already present in a plant to improve or change its performance, to increase yields or nutrients.

The precision of the technology allows it to be much faster than traditional breeding or genetic modification, while also lowering the cost. In some countries, regulation is also less strenuous.

Furthermore, even as Beijing is expected to allow the planting of genetically modified corn as early as this year, it may soon promote gene-edited crops as well.

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