China Complicates Issues with New Biotech Crop Rules
According to a March 20 Reuters article, China has still not issued permits to foreign firms to import biotech crops, undermining a Sino-U.S. compromise to resume soybean trade there. China's Agriculture Ministry issued a supplementary set of rules a day before resumption of biotech imports.Markets celebrated briefly after China agreed over a week ago to issue temporary safety certificates to kick-start stalled trade, especially in soybeans where a billion dollars worth of trade a year with the United States is at stake.
"Some foreign firms did not provide enough material as required by the regulations, especially on safety evaluation," said a ministry official, Reuters reported. "We can't make our judgment based on the materials they provided." Foreign companies affected scrambled to re-submit applications for labeling imports under the supplementary rules issued by the Ministry online at <http://www.agri.gov.cn/> (in Chinese). Previously, only local firms needed to submit such applications, traders said, Reuters noted.Chinese orders for soybeans have not resumed as none of the foreign firms that have applied for safety certificates have received them. Story at
<http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/020320/sha8273_1.html> Related March 21 Dow Jones story at
0321/bs_dowjones/china_seeks_more_detail_in_requests_received_for_biotecho_cft&printer=1> Related March 21 China Farmers' Daily story at