May 24, 2021

Agritech GMO corn hybrid trials in China

Food
agritech
corn
China
Helen Adams
2 min
As China battles food waste, Chinese agritech has progressed to a new level with corn

A Chinese agritech company, Origin Agritech Ltd., has announced progress in a trial of GMO corn hybrid varieties.

One herbicide resistant (Gt) variety has completed its final trial and is pending final approval.  Under the agricultural regulations in China, both the GMO traits and the hybrid corn varieties require government approval before the seed can be sold commercially.  In general, the government hybrid variety trials take two years to completion.

Origin Agritech Limited was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in the Life Science Park, in Beijing. In crop seed biotechnologies, Origin Agritech's phytase corn was the first transgenic corn to receive the Bio-Safety Certificate from China's Ministry of Agriculture. Over the years, Origin has established a robust biotechnology seed pipeline including products with glyphosate tolerance and pest resistance (Bt) traits.

 

Corn commercial hybrids in China

Furthermore, five of Origin's insect resistant and herbicide resistant (Bt/Gt) double stack GMO corn hybrid varieties have advanced to the second-year variety trials. 

Three more new elite Bt/Gt corn hybrids will join the first-year government variety trials next year. In total, 27 elite commercial hybrids have been converted to GMO corn hybrids in different stages of evaluation trials. Furthermore, thirteen GMO Phytase have completed the trials and are pending final approval.

"We are very excited by the progresses we are making in the approval process of our hybrid corn varieties”, said Dr. Gengchen Han, Origin's Chairman. “This further shows the importance of our corn seed germplasms in bringing GMO corn to the commercial markets, which will give us production ready product lines once our GMO technology receives regulatory approval."
 

China’s war on food waste

It is estimated that the world wastes up to 1.3bn tonnes of food per year, from overeating, overcooking or from letting food go off. Chinese President Xi Jinping has described food waste as a “distressing” issue and the country is taking food waste seriously. It has put laws into place to stop excessive eating, by banning: 

  • Filming or sharing videos of binge-eating
  • Restaurants diners ordering more food than they require

 

Breaking these laws is punishable by a fine.

As previously reported in Food Digital, many food tech startups have developed devices to help combat food waste - from robotics which can process foods faster than by human labour, to AI which can internally scan fruit and vegetables.

Through agritech and human effort, the level of food waste can be decreased

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