Farm: Goal to send more crops to China

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

“Canada has a reg­u­la­tory sys­tem, which has been in place for 20 years. China too has a reg­u­la­tory sys­tem. So one ar­eas that is very im­por­tant from the in­dus­try’s view is that the two coun­tries to col­lab­o­rate us­ing best prac­tices and un­der­stand­ing each coun­try’s reg­u­la­tory sys­tems, and learn­ing from each other,” he said.

One of the ma­jor hur­dles to over­come as the two coun­tries seek to ex­pand on the agri­cul­tural trade is the is­sue of GM foods prod­ucts.

China has re­mained highly pru­dent over the mar­ket­ing of do­mes­tic GM prod­ucts as the agri­cul­tural author­i­ties have only ap­proved the com­mer­cial cul­ti­va­tion of GM cot­ton and pa­paya.

The coun­try has also pre­vi­ously re­jected mil­lions of tons of GM corn im­ports from the United States, as the ship­ments was found to have con­tained the MIR 162 strain of corn, which was not yet to be ap­proved by Chi­nese agri­cul­tural author­i­ties.

“To me, China has the world’s world-class mod­ern plant breed­ing tech­nolo­gies and sci­en­tists. It is the agri­cul­tural prod­ucts that the coun­try is lag­ging be­hind. So we are try­ing to un­der­stand why that hap­pens and what we can do to help,” he said.

Yar­row said many agri­cul­tural prod­ucts from Canada, such as canola, corn and soy­beans are ge­net­i­cally en­hanced, and GM prod­ucts are part of the food sup­ply in the coun­try. Cana­di­ans have been con­sumers of these prod­ucts for many years with no safety con­cerns.

Canada can also share with China its reg­u­la­tory ex­pe­ri­ence of GM foods prod­ucts, he said, as he be­lieved the coun­try’s sys­tem is among the world’s best .

“We too have suf­fered from in­ci­dents of con­sumers who are mis­in­formed and spread mis­in­for­ma­tion about those prod­ucts. What is go­ing in China is the same in those coun­tries,” he said. How­ever, quite dif­fer­ent from China, the Cana­dian public has a very high level of trust in the Cana­dian reg­u­la­tory sys­tem. Deng Rui in Chongqing con­trib­uted to the story.

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