China and U.S. Forge Closer Biotech (GMO) Ties

Posted: December 23, 2014 in Econ 101, Free Trade, Technology and Energy

SOURCE: http://www.thonline.com/news/agriculture/article_4efa1a8e-992c-529a-bda2-f2e18dedf536.html

SEE ALSO:  China Approves Swiss Syngenta Biotech Corn (GMO)

SEE ALSO:  E.U. Leaves Opening In Law For New GMO Crops


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U.S., China eye closer biotech ties

Vilsack says the 2 countries are seeking a ‘strategic dialogue.’

Sunday, December 21, 2014 12:00 am

CHICAGO — With China gobbling up nearly 20 percent of U.S. farm exports, the two countries agree they should do a better job of working together on farming practices, including improving collaboration on biotechnology.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, each speaking at a U.S.-China trade meeting in Chicago on Wednesday, said such efforts are critical as they work to ensure that there is enough food to feed the world’s growing population.

The United States and China are “moving toward an understanding of how we might be able to establish a strategic dialogue on biotechnology,” Vilsack said.

U.S. agricultural and food companies pay close attention to China. While the pace of its economic growth has slowed, the country and its 1.3 billion residents are a booming market for U.S. agricultural products. But China’s barriers to imports of some U.S. genetically modified crops have disrupted seed companies’ plans for new product launches. So any changes in China’s acceptance of biotechnology products could have a major impact on planting in the United States.

China is already the largest agricultural export market for the United States. In fiscal 2014, nearly $26 billion of exports headed to China, up 11 percent from the year before, Vilsack said. China also is growing as an exporter to the United States.

The United States and China have been collaborating on agriculture for more than 35 years, Vilsack said. Now, the countries need to create “an enabling environment to improve food security in our own countries and, as importantly, food security throughout the world.”

China’s Vice Minister of Agriculture Niu Dun said the countries need to deepen their strategic cooperation in agriculture.

Vilsack said he would like to see both governments speed approval processes for biotechnology products. “Both China and the United States have accepted the safety and effectiveness of biotechnology crops and products that are produced from biotech,” Vilsack said in an interview on the sidelines of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade meeting.

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