China publishes trial rules for approving gene-edited plants

China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has published a series of guidelines for the approval of gene-edited plants, meant to allow for faster improvements to crops and contribute to addressing challenges related to food security. According to the trial rules, once gene-edited plants have completed pilot trials, producers can apply for a production certificate, thus skipping the lengthy field trials required for the approval of genetically modified plants. Currently, the approval of genetically modified plants can take around six years; the new rules would allow the process for approving gene-edited plants to span only one or two years.