China Should Accelerate Use of Gene-Altered Crops, Adviser Says

China, the world’s biggest grain producer, should speed up the sale of genetically modified crops to boost output and food security, said a state researcher and political adviser.

The Ministry of Agriculture should simplify the rules on biotechnology because it slows effective use of research results, Huang Dafang, director of Biotechnology Research, said at the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing.

While China approved strains of gene-modified rice and corn in 2009, it said mass production would be allowed only after trial planting and public acceptance. China has made advancing agricultural technology a top priority this year in its so-called No. 1 policy paper.

“We are advocating” a faster approach, Huang said. For the government to amend the approval process may take one to three years, he said.

The ministry in 2009 said the so-called phytase corn, which allows animals to better process phosphate, and a variety of insect-resistant rice meet safety standards.

The corn seed will reduce the phosphate waste from livestock animals by 40 percent, reducing their environmental impact, said Huang, whose center developed the variety.

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