Two more corn varieties get biosafety nod

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has officially approved the issuance of a BioSafety Certificate for Dekalb Vietnam (Monsanto) and Syngenta Vietnam's corn seeds with weed management traits.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has issued a BioSafety Certificate for Dekalb Vietnam (Monsanto) and Syngenta Vietnam's corn seeds that the companies claim will benefit millions of farmers. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue

This was the second time the ministry granted the certificate to genetically modified seeds. The first was granted in March to the company's MON 89034 corn seeds.

"We are pleased that Vietnamese farmers are a step closer to accessing corn seeds with insect protection and weed management traits, which have brought significant benefit to millions of farmers around the world since their launch," said Le Huy Ham, director of the Agricultural Genetics Institute.

Sa Thi Han, chairwoman of the Farmer Union in Chieng Khoa commune of northern Son La Province's Moc Chau District, said that most households in the commune earned a living from maize cultivation. They owned about one hectare on average, although some owned more than 10 ha. Due to labour constraints and the large cultivation area, most farmers could not spare enough time to take care of the crops, so yields remained low.

"If corn seeds with insect protection and weed management traits can help mitigate the yield loss caused from corn borer pests, reduce insecticide sprays and offer efficiency and convenience in weed control, many farmers would be more than happy to try them," she said.

Since 1996, 60 countries have granted regulatory approval for plant biotechnologies for cultivation and import for consumption. Global scientific and regulatory authorities such as the UN World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) have found biotech crops as safe as conventional crops and stated that foods from biotech crops are thoroughly evaluated through comprehensive testing for food, feed and environmental safety.

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