How will Bulgaria harmonise their GMO law with EU legislation?
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
On January 13, the Bulgarian parliament voted at the first hearing for amendments on GMO Law. More than 500 people protested in front of the Parliament and showed their strong resistance. So far, almost 7000 people have signed the petition to ban MON810 or for GMO free Bulgaria. The Ministry of Environment has initiated the changes, argueing that Bulgarian law has to be harmonized with EU legislation. Main subjects discussed for the last months were the proposals to withdraw the texts referring to the prohibition of the deliberate release into the environment and the placing on the market of the following GMOs: tobacco, vine, cotton, damask rose, wheat, and all vegetable and fruits, as well as the deliberate release of any GMOs into the areas included in the National Ecological Network within the meaning given by the Biological Diversity Act, as well as into the adjoining areas within a zone of 30 kilometers around any such areas.
Protection of organic farming from GMO contamination was also a hot topic. If the law has to be changed this should be towards the protection of Bulgarian economic interests, environment and farmers’ rights. Instead of liberating the law, Bulgaria has to join the EU countries which already banned MON810 based on many evidences of negative effects of this transgenic crop, according to Svetla Nikolova, chairperson of Agrolink. During the period from 2004 to 2009, a total of 1304 samples of food placed on the Bulgarian market were tested for GM maize, soya and rice by the national Food Safety Agency. GMOs were found in 448 (more than 34 %) of the samples, and in 94 or 7.2 % of them the percentage of GMO was more than 2 %. Only two of the samples tested were labeled as containing GMO. In 2009, the produce of 64 % of Bulgarian food companies contained more GMO than allowed by law, compared with 30 % for the period from 2005 to 2008. The Food Safety report gives no information about any sanctions imposed on companies which do not comply with the Bulgarian Food Act. The above information was not released to the public by the Food Safety Agency but was found by Agrolink.
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