Buenos Aires, June 13th. This week a biotechnology Chinese delegation came to Buenos Aires to carry out meetings with their Argentine counterpart in the private sector. They joined at the headquarters of the Argentine Seed Association (ASA), with representatives of the largest biotechnology, genetic and gene-editing companies and institutions.

This was the continuation of the 8th round of the Biotechnology Bilateral Group carried out at Beijing two weeks earlier. “The ax of the work of this group is the evaluation of the traits release processes in both countries, trying to reach synchronicity between both countries”, chairman of ASA, Alfredo Paseyro, told to eFarmNewsAr.com.

Representatives of biotech global companies like Corteva, Bayer or BASF, public research institutions like INTA (National Agriculture Technology Institute), breeding companies like Asociados Don Mario and NBT’s (New Breeding Technologies) start-ups like Bioheuris, were part of the meeting. “Clearly, gene-editing climbed to the top of the bilateral agenda”, Paseyro added. “Argentina had been a pioneer to developing a legal framework for the NBT, that offers a path to determine if a new product must be regulated as a GMO or not. In the world, some countries have taken a position pro-NBT like the US, Brazil, Canada, Australia, while Europe is still waiting for a definition after the highest Court determined that edited plants should be subject to the same regulation that GM crops”, Paseyro explained.

Chinese authorities have not still taken a position on plant gene-edition, but they are very interested in the intellectual property rights aspects. Argentine plant breeding sector is very expectant about the definition of the Asian country.

“We presented our pipeline based on herbicide-resistance via gene-editing; they appreciated the opportunity that gene-editing represents as a formidable tool to fight weeds, in an environment-sustainable way”, CEO of Bioheuris, Carlos Perez, told to eFArmNewsAr.

Going to the biotechnology field, both sides remarked that Argentina was the first country in the world recognizing and releasing a GMO trait developed by a Chinese company, which confers herbicide resistance to the soybean.

(Photo, Alfredo Paseyro shakes hands with Chinese chief of the mission)