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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Cibus and Rotam Announce Agreement to Develop Non-GMO Rapeseed for China

Cibus and Rotam have announced an agreement to develop non-GMO, sulfonyulurea herbicide-tolerant rapeseed to be produced in China to help meet the growing demand in the country for non-GMO rapeseed oil.

Over the past 40 years rapeseed has grown from the sixth largest oilseed crop cultivated in China to the second largest, and between 1999 and 2008 rapeseed accounted for between 13% and 16% of total global vegetable oil production.

China’s imports of rapeseed oil have skyrocketed from 132,000 tons in 2000 to 644,000 in 2010, and the Chinese breeding society states that the Cibus/Rotam launch in China will strengthen the country’s rapeseed industry through increased yields and lower cost of production.

Under the terms of the agreement, Rotam will assume the role of choosing the rapeseed breeding partners and developing the path to commercialization for both the rapeseed seeds and herbicides in China.

“Chinese consumers view non-transgenic rapeseed oil as a healthier alternative to soybean and palm oil, and as more Chinese move into the middle class in the upcoming decade, rapeseed oil demand is set to outpace supply,” said Jean-Michel Duhamel, Rotam’s Chief Commercial Officer.”

“With the demand for rapeseed oil soaring with an emphasis on non-transgenic product, this agreement with Rotam will not only help meet a pressing need in the Chinese market, but will also help Chinese farmers,” said Peter Beetham, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cibus . “This new product reduces the amount of chemicals needed to achieve weed control, cutting costs, increasing crop yield and providing benefits to the environment.”

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