Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 565–573 | Cite as

Biosafety management and commercial use of genetically modified crops in China

  • Yunhe Li
  • Yufa Peng
  • Eric M. Hallerman
  • Kongming Wu
Review

Abstract

As a developing country with relatively limited arable land, China is making great efforts for development and use of genetically modified (GM) crops to boost agricultural productivity. Many GM crop varieties have been developed in China in recent years; in particular, China is playing a leading role in development of insect-resistant GM rice lines. To ensure the safe use of GM crops, biosafety risk assessments are required as an important part of the regulatory oversight of such products. With over 20 years of nationwide promotion of agricultural biotechnology, a relatively well-developed regulatory system for risk assessment and management of GM plants has been developed that establishes a firm basis for safe use of GM crops. So far, a total of seven GM crops involving ten events have been approved for commercial planting, and 5 GM crops with a total of 37 events have been approved for import as processing material in China. However, currently only insect-resistant Bt cotton and disease-resistant papaya have been commercially planted on a large scale. The planting of Bt cotton and disease-resistant papaya have provided efficient protection against cotton bollworms and Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV), respectively. As a consequence, chemical application to these crops has been significantly reduced, enhancing farm income while reducing human and non-target organism exposure to toxic chemicals. This article provides useful information for the colleagues, in particular for them whose mother tongue is not Chinese, to clearly understand the biosafety regulation and commercial use of genetically modified crops in China.

Keywords

Genetically modified crop Biosafety regulation Environmental risk assessment Ecological impact Bt cotton 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yunhe Li
    • 1
  • Yufa Peng
    • 1
  • Eric M. Hallerman
    • 2
  • Kongming Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant ProtectionChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Fisheries and Wildlife ConservationVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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