The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will permit the import of only 11 strains of genetically modified corn, out of more than 20 kinds globally, the economic planning agency said.
NDRC carried the transcript of a question-answer session on the issue on its website, along with an assessment of the impact of all types of corn imports on the domestic market.
Acknowledging intense public debate on genetically modified corn imports, the commission said such grains would only be allowed for use in livestock feed, and will be closely inspected, quarantined and tested.
China will be importing about 1 million metric tonnes of corn from the US by September to relieve domestic shortages.
A large portion of 166 million tonnes of soybeans imported into China in the 2005-2009 period was genetically modified, but those imports were strictly regulated and didn't affect the safety of soy oil and other foods, it said.
On the broader issue of corn imports, not limited to genetically modified strains, the commission said the imports were unlikely to affect local markets since the entire import quota is only 7.2 million tons, less than 5% of China's 150-million-tonne corn consumption.
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