By: Cao Siqi

A Beijing court has recently accepted a lawsuit application filed by three residents against China's Ministry of Agriculture for refusing to publish the test report of an herbicide used to treat genetically-modified (GM) soy beans.

"We have accepted the case and the specific date of the hearing has yet to be determined," an employee at the Beijing No.3 Intermediate People's Court confirmed with the Global Times on Thursday.

Yang Xiaolu, one of the three plaintiffs, told the Global Times that "after five months the court finally accepted our case, which was encouraging."

Yang said that they filed the lawsuit because the ministry refused to publish the toxicology report of Glyphosate, a herbicide named "Roundup," which was introduced in the market by the US-based agriculture company Monsanto, to protect the company's "business secrets." "Glyphosate on soy beans would affect women's fertility, cause cancer, deform crops and harm the environment," Yang said.  

China has approved GM soy imports since 1997, with shipments reaching 58.38 million tons in 2012, the People's Daily reported in 2013. 

The three have been asking the ministry to open the test report since February 2014, but the ministry said that Glyphosate has been registered in China since 1988 and that the company refuses to open the report for privacy and business reasons. 

The ministry also cited a test it did on the herbicide and said it was safe. However the plaintiffs think the test was bogus.

Originally Publisehd: Global Times