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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

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