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Crop Biotech Update

National Center for GM Crops in Korea Promotes Commercialization of Biotech Crops

May 18, 2012

The Next-Generation BioGreen 21 Program was established by the Rural Development Administration (RDA) which is the government body responsible for agriculture research and extension in South Korea. The purpose of this program is to shift agriculture as a national leading industry through application of agri-biotechnology research.

Development and commercialization of GM crops are handled by the National Center for GM Crops (NCGC) which was launched by 2011 as one of 7 national biotechnology programs in the Next-Generation BioGreen 21 Program.

Research projects of NCGC are targeting rice, Chinese cabbage, pepper, soybean, flower crops, etc. and are aimed at finding useful functional genes, developing GM events and safety assessment, managerial technology, and facilitating commercialization of GM crops.

Currently, six GM events including drought resistance rice, herbicide resistance rice, added functional rice, virus-resistance red pepper, virus resistance rootstock for cactus, and herbicide resistance grass are undergoing safety assessment.

All NCGC projects are operated by 47 research teams including 27 universities, 12 national or private research institutes, 6 companies, and 2 overseas research institutes.

For more information about crop biotech in Korea, email Dr. Soo-Chul Park, director of the Korea Biotechnology Information Center, NCGC at rdapark@hanmir.com.