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29.04.2010 |

Finland still wary of GM foods

Genetically modified foods are not allowed to be sold in Finland, but it remains difficult for the critical consumer to completely avoid groceries that utilise GM technology in some shape or form. “Genetically modified vegetables are used to produce medicines, and these medicines may also be used in organic production,” says Markku Keinänen, a researcher at the University of Eastern Finland and a member of the Advisory Board on Biotechnology.

19.03.2010 |

Bulgaria maintains ban on GM crop

With not a single vote in favour and 168 against, proposals to lift existing limitations on cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Bulgaria were thrown out by Parliament on March 18 2010. The surprise decision came after ruling GERB party changed its position and dropped its support for the bill, Bulgarian-language daily Dnevnik said.

19.02.2010 |

Bulgaria MPs agree GMO amendments to protect organic farmland

The Bulgarian Parliamentary Committee on the Environment has agreed that GMOs will not be allowed within 7 kms of organic farmland, and 10 kms away from permanent, registered beehive clusters. They also adopted a five-year ban on the cultivation of GMOs for commercial and scientific research in the field. The document was voted before the new law on GMOs was adopted on second reading. The committee has accepted these changes to the Law on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) at the proposal of Evdokiya Maneva, Deputy Minister of Environment and Water.

15.02.2010 |

Five-Year Ban on GMOs in Bulgaria

Sofia, 12.02.2010

The Environment and Water Committee of the Bulgarian Parliament yesterday (February 11) agreed a five-year ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The final approval of the bill which will be voted by the Bulgarian National Assembly in a second reading is scheduled for next week.

The ban follows a wave of protests last two months in which farmers, NGOs, consumers' and mothers' initiative groups came together in five different cities of the country - Sofia, Ruse, Varna, Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo. More than fifteen thousand signatures were collected supporting the petition "GM- free Bulgaria" and another five thousand demanding a ban on the maize hybrid MON810. The Prime Minister Boiko Borisov received two thousand postcards painted by children appealing to him to keep Bulgaria GMO free.

The Environment and Water Committee accepted new texts in the GMO act which were proposed by NGOs: the demand that owners and tenants of agricultural land located next to farms planting GM crops should expressly grant their permission; bigger distances for fields neighbouring with GM cultivated land, etc

With its adoption of this ban on the cultivation of GMOs in Bulgaria the National Assembly has shown that it listens to the demands of the Bulgarian people. The enormous interest demonstrated by the public and the media in Bulgaria has increased the level of knowledge in the country about genetically modified crops and from now on people will follow very carefully every political step made in the field of genetic engineering for agriculture. Yet the doubts for inconsistent politics remain with the refusal of the Ministry of Agriculture to support the organic farming" said Svetla Nikolova, chair of AGROLINK.

Contact: Svetla Nikolova

AGROLINK Association, +359 888 359 239

e-mail: svetla.nikolova@agrolink.org, www.agrolink.org

12.02.2010 |

Italian court overturns national GE crop ban

The highest appeals court in Italy has overturned a standing ban on the cultivation of genetically modified plants. The Ministry of Agriculture and a majority of the population seem otherwise inclined. According to London weekly Agra Europe, the highest court in Italy has instructed the Ministry of Agriculture to allow the planting of genetically modified (GM) maize.

02.11.2009 |

Turkey bans imports of biotech products

Turkey, the 27th largest export market for all U.S. goods, issued a new regulation placing additional requirements on all food and feed products containing genetically enhanced components. This new regulation essentially came without warning, according to U.S. Grains Council Regional Director in the Middle East and Subcontinent Joe O’Brien. ”This ban came at us pretty much out of the blue,” he said.

11.09.2009 |

Seed company Monsanto plans deeper staff cuts

Monsanto Co., the world’s biggest seed maker, said Thursday it plans to make deeper work force cuts than previously announced, saying it will reduce its staff by about 8 percent to cut costs. The St. Louis-based company also said its 2009 earnings would come in at the low end of its previous forecast due in part to weaker than expected results from Roundup and other herbicides. Its shares tumbled $4.18, or 5 percent, to close at $79.30 Thursday.

11.09.2009 |

Poll: Anti-GMO sentiment could affect German parliamentary votes

With the election for the German parliament looming on September 27, a recent poll suggests that political parties that don’t support agribiotech have a better chance of pulling in the votes. According to a fresh poll, about 65% of Germans are opposed to genetic engineering in food plants. [...] 41% of the 1003 surveyed poeple said that they would not vote for a political party that supports agri-biotechnology.

10.09.2009 |

EU Commission considers to give more freedom in banning GE crops

The European Commission is considering allowing member states to ban EU-approved GM crops. Commission President José Manuel Barroso wants to ”look at whether we can give the member states more freedom on this issue,” said EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel yesterday during the Agriculture Council in Brussels. She added that she would support these ideas, and also advocated speeding up market approval for new GM maize lines to lift trade barriers that have a emerged as a result of asynchronous approval of GMOs in the EU and in GMO export countries.

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