The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made publicly available its unofficial translation of the new Chinese rules on imports of genetically modified foods.

The 16-page translation has been posted on the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service website. It was translated by USSA officials in Beijing in an effort to bring clarity to the long-anticipated regulations and their impact on US importers.

Concern was expressed by USDA secretary Ann Veneman last week that the new Chinese legislation could negatively impact US soybean sales to China. Soybean industry spokespersons are concerned that the regulations are vague and could cause future delays in soybean exports to China, as nearly 70% of US soybeans are cultivated using GM seeds.

One part of the translation that focuses on applications to export GMO products to China states: "The Ministry of Agricultural shall respond whether the application is accepted or not accepted within two months of receiving the application. A decision on the application will be made within three months after the application deadline."

The USDA translation can be viewed by entering the following Internet address in a web browser: http://www.fas.usda.gov/gainfiles/200201/135683205.pdf