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Agriculture News As It Happens

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USDA, Chinese commit to biotech project

The Agriculture Department and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday “made a commitment to a biotechnology pilot program, which could provide greater cooperation in the approval process for new products,” and affirmed new access for pears in the Chinese marketplace through the commitment to allow reciprocal trade between the two countries beginning in 2013, a USDA spokesman said in an email late in the day.

The announcements were made at the conclusion of the annual U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade talks in Washington.

“China is currently the top market for agricultural products produced by America’s farmers and ranchers and we were able to make progress on several key issues, while reinforcing the inherent value of the products produced in the United States," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

“Much more work remains to be completed, and we’ll continue working with our Chinese counterparts in the year ahead.”

At a news conference, a Chinese official said that technical talks on U.S. beef exports and Chinese fruit exports would continue today.