CHINA - THE STATE COUNCIL REVISES THE “REGULATIONS ON THE SAFETY ADMINISTRATION OF AGRICULTURAL GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS”

On 23 October 2017 Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council signed a decree of the State Council to announce the “Decision of State Council on amending various administrative regulations” (hereinafter referred to as the “Decision”). The Regulation will take effect from the date of promulgation. The “Regulations on the Safety Administration of Agricultural Genetically Modified Organisms” are modified by the “Decision”. Two of the exisitngart ticles in the “Regulations on the Safety Administration of Agricultural Genetically Modified Organisms” were deleted, and five articles were modified.

Regulatory changes

With the modification, units engaged in the testing of agricultural genetically modified organisms should apply for a safety certficate with the State Council at the end of the production test. It is required that a rest report is provided by the organization.

In addition, when overseas companies export agricultural genetically modified organisms to the People’s Republic of China to be used for as raw materials for processing it should obtain safety certificates. With the certificate the departments of the State Council acknowledge the testing organizations’ capability to handle GM organisms without harming the human, animal & plant, microorganism and ecological environment. This implies that China will be stricter on import inspection as well as the safety evaluation for the management of genetically modified products.

Furthermore, the competencies of the different departments responsible for the safety of genetically modified organisms is clarified. The relevant functions of the national entry-exit inspection and quarantine departments are removed by the amendment. The Ministry of Agriculture is set as the prime responsible for approval and management.

The safety of genetically modified products has been a hot topic in Chinese media and public attention. Entry-exit inspection and quarantine processing should be receive due consideration by enterprises involved.