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Regulation and Labelling of Genetically Modified Food in China


Jan 01, 2020

1.    The Regulation of Genetically Modified Food in China

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is responsible for the regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and implements safety evaluation management for GMOs. Those engaged in the production and processing of genetically modified organisms need to obtain Agricultural Genetically Modified Organism Processing Licenses. In addition, special area sales of genetically modified foods are required in some provinces.

China has approved 2 types of safety certificates.

 7 Safety Certificates for Production and Application of self-developed insect-resistant cotton, anti-virus papaya, insect-resistant rice, high-phytase corn, altered flower color petunia, disease-resistant sweet pepper and disease-resistant & maturity-delaying tomato (At present, only genetically modified cotton and papaya are commercially grown).

2: I
mport Safety Certificates for 5 crops, namely soybean, corn, rapeseed, cotton and sugar beet (imported agricultural GMOs are only approved for processing as raw materials and are not allowed to be grown domestically).

2.    Labelling Requirements of Genetically Modified Food in China

Labelling genetically modified foods is mandatory in China. As long as food contains or uses genetically modified ingredients during production (no specific content requirement), it is regulated as genetically modified foods.

All agricultural genetically modified organisms listed in the Labelling Management Catalogue and used for sale must be identified. At present, only one batch of agricultural genetically modified organisms in the labelling management catalogue was released:

1. Soybean seeds, soybeans, soybean meal, soybean oil, soybean meal;
2. Corn seeds, corn, corn oil, corn flour (including corn flour with tax codes of 11022000, 11031300 and 11042300);
3, Rapeseed, rapeseed, rapeseed oil, rapeseed meal;
4, Cotton seeds;
5, Tomato seeds, fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce (Although the tomato is in the catalogue, there is no genetically modified tomato product in China).

According to Implementation Regulations on Labelling of Agricultural Genetically Modified Organisms, there are 3 labelling methods:

1. Genetically modified animals, plants (including plant seeds, breeding livestock and poultry, aquatic fry and seeds) and microorganisms shall be directly labelled as “genetically modified xx”. This provision also applies to the products derived from such GMOs and plant seeds, breeding livestock and poultry, aquatic fry and seeds, pesticides, veterinary medicine and biologics, fertilizers and additives containing such GMOs or products derived from them.

2. The product directly processed from the agricultural GMOs shall be labelled as “genetically modified xx product (finished product)” or “processed with genetically modified xx as raw material.”

3. With regard to products that are made from GMOs or products containing GMO ingredients but are found to contain no genetically modified ingredients or show no traces of such ingredients when they are finally sold, the following label shall be used: “This product is made from genetically modified xx but no longer contains genetically modified ingredients” or “The raw materials of this product contain genetically modified xx, but the product itself no longer contains genetically modified ingredients.”

Any agricultural genetically modified organism that is included in the labelling management catalogue and used for sale should be identified. If it is not in the catalogue of agricultural genetically modified organisms, it shall not be promoted or marked as “non-GMO”.

For crops that are not approved by China for importing as processing raw materials, or not approved for commercial planting in China, or the GM crops and their processed products do not exist in the market, â€œnon-GMO” logos and relating advertising are prohibited.

Please note: Original English article of Global Foodmate of Information Service and Business Department, please indicate the source from the Global Foodmate if reprint.

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