China has promulgated a regulation on the control of genetically-modified (GM) plants, animals and microbes in agriculture, aiming to protect human health, ecology and the environment.
The regulation went into effect on May 23, when Premier Zhu Rongji signed a decree on its promulgation.
The 56-article regulation is aimed at strengthening the control over the research and development, production, processing and trading of genetically-modified agricultural products, including plants, animals and microbes.
The regulation calls for mandatory assessment of the safety of GM products and labeling of such products.
According to the regulation, GM-related research institutions are required to have sufficient facilities and techniques to ensure the safety of their research and development of GM products. The institutions must apply to the state's agriculture administration department for safety certificates for their final products after completing productive experiments.
Everyone who is to be engaged in production and processing of GM products must have approval from agriculture departments at the state or provincial levels. Products listed in the GM Product Catalog must be properly labeled before they are marketed.
The agricultural administration department of the State Council is responsible for approving the import of GM products, and quarantine institutions are responsible for inspecting and certifying non-GM products to be exported.
The agricultural administration department of the State Council is also authorized to ban the production, processing and trading of any GM product that is found to have posed a hazard to human health, ecology and the environment.
(China Daily 06/07/2001)