US biotech firm Monsanto has confirmed that China had not approved the company’s application for a permanent safety certificate for imports of genetically modified soybeans.

In March of last year, Monsanto applied for a permanent safety certificate to replace temporary certificates that are currently in place.

Chinese officials, however, have told the company that they need more information on food and environmental safety, Monsanto spokeswoman Jill Montgomery told Reuters. Company officials have been meeting with Chinese officials to try to address the safety concerns.

The US exports US$1bn worth of soybeans to China each year.