The Chinese government is mulling a ban on new foreign investment in the development and manufacture of GM seeds in the country, according to a draft document obtained by Reuters today [Monday].

The document, the Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreign-Funded Investment Industries, is soon to be issued by the State Council, an industry source told the news agency.

A ban on the development and manufacture of GMO seeds is accompanied by a ban on the growing and planting of rare, precious and high-quality breeds and a ban on fishing for aquatic animals and plants within China’s waters

Foreign investment is also to be restricted when it involves the development and production of cereals (including potatoes), cotton, and oilseeds by companies in which Chinese firms as the majority shareholders.

Foreign investment will meanwhile be encouraged if it will help to improve low yield farmland; develop new planting techniques and new varieties of sugar-bearing crops, fruit trees, flowers and other non-GM crops; plant natural rubber, jute and coffee and cultivate high-quality breeding stock and common fish breeds.