The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on August 11 released approval certificates for four genetically modified (GM) corn traits of global GM seedling producers Monsanto and Syngenta for used as food, feed in Vietnam after the traits were reviewed and certified by the Food/ Feed Safety Committee as posing no risk to the health of humans and livestock.
This milestone marks a significant point in regulatory development of Vietnam to realise the vision of having GM crops cultivated in the country by 2015 and envisages covering 30-50 per cent of the country’s farmland with GM crops by 2020 that is outlined in prime ministerial Decision 11/2006/QD-TTg dated January 12, 2006.
Converting inefficient rice paddies to high yield corn is one of the key focus in the government’s agriculture restructure initiatives which see biotechnology adoption as a right decision of Vietnam to build feed zones and diversify the planting of feed crops, including the planting of genetically modified crops, that would help the country reduce import pressure and develop high quality local production in the future.
"Genetically modified crop is an achievement of humanity and Vietnam should not ignore it,” said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat in a recent forum on science and technology application.
The ministry (MARD) decision shows its high commitment and long-term effort to facilitating and speeding up the regulatory process with aims to modernise Vietnam’s agriculture and enable local farmers to get access to world-class technologies that have proved beneficial to the environment, farmer livelihood and rural living standards
To be honoured the Food/Feed Safety approval, all submitted dossiers were reviewed rigorously by the Food Feed Safety Committee since March 2014.
The 11-member committee has its chairman and vice chairman coming from MARD and other members representing key government agencies such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).
The dossiers had met all the required conditions to qualify the Food and Feed Safety approval as regulated in the MARD’s Circular 02 which stipulates an approval process of genetically modified plants for direct use as food and feed.
Under current regulations, biosafety approval is needed prior an agricultural biotech crop can be cultivated in Vietnam. As of this time, the National Bio-safety Committee has reviewed the four above-mentioned dossiers. All the relevant information has been submitted to the MoNRE, and final decision from this body remains forthcoming.
The four approved GM corns traits include
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