The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has halted a plan to partner with Kraig Biocraft Laboratories to create silkworms that have the ability to produce spider web material in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.
The ministry issued a note on Tuesday attributing the pause to Vietnam's lack of a legal framework to manage genetically modified creatures, news website Thoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon (Saigon Times) reported.
The note added that the country has little understanding of the environmental impact such a project could involve.
In 2013, Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. sent a team to Lam Dong Province on a fact-finding mission that found it to be a suitable location for investment.
On January 8, Kim K. Thompson, the company's CEO and founder, met with Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh to discuss the possibility of establishing commercial production of spider silk in Lam Dong.
They then submitted an application to go ahead with the project.
Ninh replied that the Vietnamese government would carefully study the project.
Vietnam has approved the importation of several genetically-modified corn varietals and left it to the environmental ministry to determine whether to plant the controversial crops on a massive scale.
On August 11, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development authorized four corn varieties for food and animal feed processing—namely, MON 89034 and NK603, produced by Dekalb Vietnam (a subsidiary of US mega-corporation Monsanto) and Bt 11 and MIR 162 from the Swiss firm Syngenta.