China approves two new GMO crop varieties for import, renews 14 - ag ministry

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UPDATE 2-China approves two new GMO crop varieties for import, renews 14 - ag ministry

* China approves two new GMO crops for import
    * Move follows pledge to speed up review of biotech products
    * Six more products still waiting for green light

 (Recasts 1st paragraph to focus on two new approvals, adds
details and context on trade deal and review process, adds
Dupont comment in 8th and 9th paragraphs.)
    By Dominique Patton and Hallie GuBEIJING, June 14 (Reuters) - China approved two new
varieties of genetically modified (GMO) crops for import from
June 12, after the world's top buyer of GMO soybeans pledged to
speed up a review of biotech products as part of a recent trade
deal with the United States.
    The approvals of new GMO imports follow an agreement on
protocols for shipments of U.S. beef to China that was also
promised under the broader trade deal last month. [nL1N1J91M3]
    The new GMO varieties are Dow AgroSciences' <DOW.N> Enlist
corn and Monsanto's <MON.N> Vistive Gold soybean, the Ministry
of Agriculture said in a statement on Wednesday.
    China does not permit the planting of genetically modified
food crops but does allow GMO imports, such as soybeans, for use
in its animal feed industry.
    But getting a new GMO crop variety approved for import by
China takes around six years, compared with under three in other
major markets, forcing leading agrichemical players to restrict
sales during China's review process.
    In May, Beijing promised to speed up the evaluations of
eight U.S. varieties of GMO crops by the end of the month under
a trade deal with the United States. [nL1N1IE1OP]
    Industry comments suggest Beijing could issue additional
product approvals in coming months.
    "We are aware of the latest updates of the approval process
and are encouraged by the fast progress that the Chinese
government has made," said a DuPont Pioneer <DD.N> spokeswoman.
    "We look forward to more products getting approval."
    DuPont Pioneer is awaiting approval for an insect-tolerant
corn while Dow AgroSciences' Enlist soybean is also pending
    The agriculture ministry said it has also renewed import
approvals for 14 other GMO varieties including Syngenta's MIR162
Duracade corn, a Monsanto sugar beet and three Bayer <BAYE.NS>
rapeseed products.
    The approvals are for a three-year period lasting to 2020,
the statement said.

 (Reporting by Dominique Patton and Hallie Gu; Editing by
Christian Schmollinger and Tom Hogue)
 ((dominique.patton@thomsonreuters.com; +86 10 6627 1027;
Reuters Messaging:


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