China approves plan to develop GM crops
A plan aimed at cultivating more high-yielding genetically modified pest-resistant crops has been approved by the Chinese State Council. The plan comes amid mounting challenges to feed 1,300 million people, with shrinking areas of arable land and frequent water shortages, although no details have been released on which crops are to be developed. China has become a major producer of GM cotton and vegetables, but it has yet to begin large-scale production of GM rice, maize or soybeans. Insect-resistant rice was originally expected to be commercialised in China in 2005 ( Agrow No 461, p 21), but the Ministry of Agriculture last year called for more testing to be carried out before approval could be given ( Agrow No 512, p 15).