Origin Agritech, a Chinese seed producer, may get government go ahead in 2010 to sell corn engineered with a newly licensed gene, according to reports. The herbicide-tolerant corn would compete with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops.

The product is working its way through China’s approval chain, said Irving Kau, vice president of finance at Beijing-based Origin Agritech. The Ministry of Agriculture is expected to see the product soon, with final approval in late 2010 or 2011.

It is suggested the gene creates a crop that can withstand higher levels of glyphosate herbicide application.

China is reportedly the second-largest corn producer in the world, after the U.S.