(Corrects paragraph 2 to show Syngenta is based in Switzerland,
not the U.S.)
BEIJING Dec 6 China is still evaluating whether
to approve the strain of genetically-modified corn that caused
it to reject some U.S. imports in the last few weeks after its
discovery in cargoes, a spokesman for the country's agriculture
The spokesman, Bi Meijia, said at a press briefing on Friday
that the strain, Syngenta's insect-resistant MIR162,
was still being evaluated after Switzerland-based Syngenta
provided additional information about the product in November.
Bi said that although Syngenta had applied for approval as
early as 2010, the testing data for MIR162 was not yet complete.
He did not give any timetable for when the corn may be
The strain is already shipped to Japan, South Korea, Russia
and even the European Union, which is notoriously slow in
approving GMO crop varieties.
At the same briefing, agriculture minister Han Changfu said
that China was committed to maintaining its 95 percent rate of
self-sufficiency in grain, but would take greater advantage of
international markets to guarantee supply.
(Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Joseph Radford)