China Apparently Backing off
on GMO Issue After US Pressure

AFX - Asia
March 7, 2002 Thursday

US agriculture trade negotiator 'encouraged' after talks
with China on GM food


US chief agricultural trade negotiator Allen Johnson said he was
"encouraged" US exports would not be significantly disrupted by
tough new Chinese rules on genetically modified crops.

Johnson made the comment after talks with Chinese officials in Beijing
focusing on the regulations, which will take effect on March 20.
"We're encouraged that the disruptions are minimal," he said at a

"Our expectation is that an interim arrangement should allow trade to
continue if implementation moves forward as it was described to us today,"
he said.

Under the interim arrangement, exporters will be allowed to continue
shipments beyond March 20 if they have already begun the application
procedure with Chinese authorities, he said.

The Chinese rules on agricultural biotechnology, published early this
year, will introduce a system for granting safety certificates for genetically
modified agricultural products.

However, Johnson said talks between China and the US will continue on
technical aspects of the rules.

"We still have questions regarding the compatibility of China's
regulations with the WTO obligations," he said.

For more information and to contact AFX: and

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