Draft Grain Law Limits Genetic Engineering


BEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- The freedom of grain producers in China to genetically engineer produce will be limited under a draft law released on Tuesday by the Legislative Affairs office of the State Council.

Research, selling, importing and exporting of transgenic grain seeds should comply with state regulations. Any institution or individual must not apply transgenic technologies to principle grain cultivars without approval, said the draft of a law referring to transgenics, the practice of inserting into an organism DNA that is not normally present.

The draft, the first of its kind in China, aims to ensure grain supply and security by stabilizing grain output and intensifying supervision over the market.

In recent years, safety worries concerning transgenic food have stirred wide public debate in China.

It will be impossible for transgenic corn and rice to appear on the market if their commercial production is not approved by relevant departments, Chen Xiwen, director of the Office of Central Rural Work Leading Group, said at a press briefing earlier this month.

The draft also includes stipulations concerning the market deployment of grain resources and the safeguarding of grain production, circulation and quality.

China plans to reach a grain production capacity of more than 540 million tonnes within five years, 8 percent more than the annual target of the 2006-2010 period, according to its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) for National Economic and Social Development.


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