U.S, China making progress on biotech
crop talks: USDA's Vilsack
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[December 18, 2014]
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The United States and
China are making progress in talks over Beijing's acceptance of new
biotechnology for crops, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on
The countries are "moving toward an understanding of how we might
be able to establish a strategic dialogue on biotechnology," Vilsack
told Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang in a bilateral meeting in
Biotech crops are a key trade issue between the countries because
China has rejected more than 1 million tons of U.S. corn containing
traces of a type of genetically modified corn, Agrisure Viptera, in
the past year. The strain, developed by Syngenta AG, is approved for
planting in the United States but not for import by Beijing.
U.S. seed makers have complained that China's regulatory review of
new biotech crops has slowed over the past year and that decisions
to delay import approvals for new strains are not always based on
China's barriers to imports of some U.S. genetically modified crops
are disrupting seed companies' plans for new product launches and
keeping at least one variety out of the U.S. market altogether.
The countries will "deepen our agro-technology cooperation," Wang
said later in a speech at the U.S.-China Joint Commission on
Commerce and Trade.
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Topics discussed at the forum included food security in China.
Beijing has said it wants to be self sufficient in grain production,
and the United States is "willing to collaborate significantly in
agricultural research" with China, Vilsack said later in a speech at
China accounts for 20 percent of all U.S. farm exports, he said.
(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Alan
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