BEIJING, CHINA — China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs approved two genetically modified corn varieties from Bayer AG and Syngenta AG, Bloomberg reported.

The approvals come at a time when demand for animal feed is surging. Corn imports have reached a record with demand from the hog industry that is rebuilding after African swine fever.

The strains, MON87411 and MZIR098, are approved for imports for five years starting December 2020.

While GMO crops are widely produced, their use is limited in certain countries due to concerns over health and environmental impacts.

Two domestically produced corn and soybean GMOs also are being considered for approval. Both are produced by local company Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co Ltd.

Bloomberg said the crops will be planted in the country’s north and are in addition to a corn strain approved last year.