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China Drafts Law to Tighten Government Controls on Grain Trade

China, the world’s biggest grain consumer, has drafted a law to tighten controls over the production and trade of grains, including a clause that forbids the unauthorized use of genetically modified seeds.

The proposed law defines the authority of agencies in controlling and monitoring markets, including rules legitimizing government powers to limit the size of a company’s operations, imports and exports of grains, according to statements on the State Council’s website dated Feb. 21, which said the government is seeking public feedback before enacting the legislation.

The research, experiment, sales and imports and exports of genetically modified seeds must comply with government rules and no businesses or individuals should engage in the unauthorized application of biotechnology in major grains, it said.

“It’s normal” that the government continues to be cautious about genetically modified crop seeds, Tommy Xiao, analyst at Shanghai JC Intelligence Co., said by e-mail. “The approval will take some time and due process,” he said.

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