China to Vote on Biotech Ag

The People's Congress may be voting on rules to govern new-tech crops and food.

Published on: Dec 28, 2010

When the People's Congress of China meets in March, there could be an interesting topic to consider: genetically modified foods. According to wire service reports, the legislation will cover the import and export of biotech food and production development and research on biotech grains.

China's Ministry of Environmental Protection is preparing a law on overall biotech safety, while parliament's ag and rural affairs committee is proposing a law specifically about biotech food. While they may not become law, they will be on the docket.

The country is already the world's largest producer of biotech cotton, but has been slower to accept GMO food. Last year, the country's Ministry for Ag gave its first safety approval for biotech lines of rice and corn, which could pave the way for large scale production in the next three years.

But there's controversy about those approvals and whether a biotech strain of rice - the staple food for the country - is safe.