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Last year, ISAAA predicted biotech crops were poised for a new wave of growth. Substantial gains have already been made in 2009 that are starting to bring that prediction to fruition. With 14 years of regulatory experience, growth can be accelerated moving forward.

One of the most significant advances in 2009 included a landmark November decision by China issuing biosafety certificates for biotech insect-resistant rice and phytase maize. As rice is the most important food crop globally, feeding half of humanity, and maize is the most important feed crop in the world, these biosafety clearances can have enormous implications for future biotech crop adoption in China, Asia, and around the world. The crops must complete 2 to 3 years of standard registration field trials prior to commercialization.

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