Vietnam approves commercial crops of GMO corn to cut imports | Business | Thanh Nien Daily

From Thanhnien News, Posted March 19 2015

Vietnamese farmers nationwide are now able to plant three varieties of genetically-modified (GM) corn from the Swiss firm Syngenta, according to a new government’s rule announced Wednesday.

The three varieties are NK66 BT, NK66 GT and NK66 BT/GT and will be supplied to corn farms nationwide with each variety being distributed to specific regions, said the decision from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

NK66 BT in particular will be supplied to regions with European corn borers, NK66 GT for places with strong weeds and the other for farms susceptible to both the borers and weeds.

Pham Dong Quang, director of the Department of Crop Production, said the three varieties can resist pest and herbicide as well as produce higher yields.

“GM corn will be used for animal feed only and thus, it does not require special labeling,” he said.

Earlier, the agriculture ministry has approved result of tests for impacts to the environment and biodiversity of NK66 corn. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has also issued certificate for bio-safety for the three GM corn varieties.

Kumar Datta, Syngenta Vietnam country director, said the company will coordinate with provincial agricultural agencies on plans to widely spread the varieties for better income of the farmers.

Last August, the agriculture ministry approved the imports of four corn varieties engineered for food and animal feed processing—namely, MON 89034 and NK603, produced by DeKalb Vietnam (a subsidiary of US mega-corporation Monsanto) and Bt 11 and MIR 162 from

Near the end of the month, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources issued a bio-safety certificate for Monsanto’s MON 89034 corn variety, enabling farmers to start commercially cultivating the crop, which is banned in Europe and China.

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