China is the largest importer of genetically engineered crops and one of the largest producers of GE cotton in the world, yet it has not approved any major GE food or feed crops for cultivation. The State Council is revising a number of regulations on administrative procedures in an effort to streamline how certain regulatory processes are conducted. Related to agricultural biotechnology, these changes shifted the financial burden of a number of safety trials from biotech developers to the government. After the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA)’s new regulations are in place, MOA will be responsible for conducting safety trials for all biotech events utilizing the Chinese government budget. Despite pledges made in the “13th Five-Year Plan for Science and Technology Innovation” to push forward commercialization of new domestic types of Bt corn, Bt cotton and herbicide resistant soy by 2020, to date, no domestic event has received the bio-safety certificate necessary to commercialize. Meanwhile, technological advancement, including advancement in new breeding technologies, requires Chinese regulators to update the existing regulatory system and testing methods to account for rapid innovation.
China: Agricultural Biotechnology Annual