The Chinese agricultural ministry today [Thursday] began issuing temporary safety certificates for imports of genetically modified foods. Importers have been awaiting the release of certificates for some time.

The ministry is also reported to be issuing labels for GMOs to domestic importers. Successful applicants for GMO permits an labels will be announced on the ministry's website at www.agri.gov.cn

Last year the Chinese authorities set out disputed GMO rules that have held back the Sino-US soybean trade, worth US$1bn per year.