AFBF joined eight other agriculture-related organizations in offering to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) a list of priorities related to biotechnology trade with China.
Among the groups’ top concerns is the delay in China’s approval of biotech products that already have the OK from the U.S. government. It can take as many as 24 to 30 months for China to approve a biotech product for import.
“Alarmingly, it appears the timelines are trending upwards and becoming increasingly unpredictable,” the groups wrote. “This is a concern, particularly as China imports more corn and new technology is deployed for soybeans.”
Making the approval problem worse is China’s policy that restricts technology companies from submitting dossiers for regulatory approval until after deregulation in the U.S.
The groups suggested that China’s National Biosafety Committee meet more often than its current three times per year.
“Missing a submission window or meeting can cause significant delays,” according to the organizations.
In addition, U.S. negotiators should encourage China to put a low level presence policy in place and to streamline or eliminate requirements for in-country testing as many of the tests are duplicative or unnecessary.
The letter was sent in preparation for the September 2012 U.S.-China Biotech Working Group meeting.