Dow Chemical Co, world’s second largest chemical manufacturer, has secured import approval from China for its next-generation Enlist corn variety. It would be commercially available in the United States and Canada next year.
Along with Enlist corn, Monsanto's Vistive Gold soybeans and the renewed approvals for 14 other GMO varieties were also announced.
China, the top export market for U.S. agricultural products, had pledged to speed up a review of biotech products as part of a trade deal with the United States, expediting eight products that have been pending for more than four years.
"We're very pleased to see the progress that's being made, that's been catalyzed by the discussions between the U.S. government and the Chinese government," said Joe Vertin, global leader for Dow's Enlist Weed Control System.
The Enlist platform is Dow Agro Science's largest-ever products launch and a key to reaching its forecast for boosting seed sales by $600 million by 2020. Dow's Enlist soybeans are still being reviewed by officials in China and the European Union.
China does not permit the planting of genetically modified food crops but does allow GMO imports, such as soybeans, for use in its animal feed industry.
Getting a new GMO crop variety approved for import by China takes around six years, compared with other major markets, forcing leading agro chemical players to restrict sales during China's review process. The approvals were for a three-year period lasting to 2020.