China has approved five biotech traits for import, backing new products for the first time in about 18 months. According to a report from Reuters, the new traits include separate BASF and Bayer canola products, RF3 and TruFlex, that had been waiting about six years for approval. Other approved traits include a DowDuPont soybean trait, Enlist E3, and a DuPont Pioneer-developed corn trait, Qrome, both of which are now held by Corteva Agriscience. Also approved: A Bayer and Syngenta soybean trait (SYHT0H2) now held by Syngenta and BASF. The move allows growers to use the technology without concerns that China will reject crops with those traits, as it did for about a year in 2013-2014 after it found a Syngenta trait in imported corn. The import suspension led to a lawsuit by U.S. corn growers, who stand to receive $1.5 billion in a settlement reached with Syngenta last year. “After five years of waiting to introduce this product to Canadian and U.S. farmers, we are thrilled to move forward with commercialization in 2019,” Jon Riley, trait launch lead with Bayer, said in a statement. “Farmers want, and need, new technology to help drive yield on their farms and they are looking forward to planting TruFlex™ canola this coming season.” Five other biotech products are known to be awaiting approval by the Chinese government. The news comes as U.S. and Chinese negotiators sit down to negotiate an end to the trade dispute that has bogged both countries down in retaliatory tariffs, particularly on agricultural exports.
(Story updated at 9:00 to clarify SYHT0H2 is jointly held by Syngenta and BASF.)
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