Cyprus wants to be declared GMO-free (6/6/2007)

1.Cyprus wants to be declared GMO free
2.Turkey: "The Government is Poisoning The People"


1.Cyprus wants to be declared GMO free
Reuters, June 6 2007

NICOSIA - Reuters - Cyprus wants to declare the island a GMO-free zone because it is not big enough to ensure conventional crops will remain unaffected by biotech ones, its agriculture minister said on Monday. Photis Photiou said the Mediterranean island, which joined the European Union in 2004, would also support controversial legislation now being drafted by parliament placing genetically modified food on separate supermarket shelves. Attempts by the Cypriot parliament to put foodstuffs with more than 0.9 percent authorised GMO content on separate displays had angered the United States during a previous debate on the issue in 2005.

A separation between organic, conventional and GMO crops was not possible on islands the size of Cyprus, Photiou said. "Establishing things like security zones is just an exercise on paper," Photiou told an environmental conference in Nicosia, called to launch a roadmap of government policies towards genetically modified products. "We must elucidate these arguments to back our position in detail that there cannot be any coexistence," he said.

Cyprus's farming sector is relatively small, contributing about 4.0 percent to gross domestic product. European public opinion is generally suspicious of genetically modified products, fearing health and environmental impacts. Advocates of biotechnology insist it is safe and will help eradicate world hunger by improving food supply.

A plan pursued by Cypriot legislators in 2005 to separate GMO food in shops angered the United States, which had at the time warned the move could harm bilateral ties. George Perdikis, a member of the Green's Party which tabled the proposal in parliament, said there was now broad agreement among MPs that the plan should be adopted. "We hope that it will be passed by parliament in the next month," he told Reuters. The U.S. had sent a letter to the Cypriot parliament in 2005 warning the move risked stigmatising biotech foods and could contravene Cyprus's obligations as a World Trade Organisation member.


2.The Turkish Government is Poisoning The People

Dear All,

Please see and circulate attached release to the organisations and the activists. The countries of the world have to hear our voice and our struggle against the GMOs. Thank you very much for your help, with solidarity,

Arca Atay
No to GMOs Platform (TR)

Here is the press release.

The Government is Poisoning The People

On the 16th of March the state organisation TMO (Soil Products Office) has announced on its web site that TMO will import 235.000 tons of corn for feed, from Argentina, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary and the EU.

110.000 tons of this corn was announced to be imported from Argentina.

The civil society organisations have warned the government and declared to the public that the corn, which will be imported from Argentina, might contain GMOs and must not enter the country.

But in mid april, 40.000 tons of corn has reached to Bandirma port and has been unloaded withouth any official control nor analysis.

The civil organisations have taken samples from the corn and sent them to an unofficial laboratory to be checked. Since the results show that the samples contain GM genes, they will be sent to an accredited laboratory abroad for further analysis.

On Wednesday (2nd May) two local newspapers of Bandirma have quoted Mr.Kemaloglu, general manager of TMO, stating that the corns coming from Argentina are containing GMOs but there is no regulation in Turkey prohibiting the enterance of GMO crops.

However, being a party and signatory of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (http://www.biodiv.org/biosafety/default.aspx), in compliance with the Protocol, Turkey must put into place due procedures for the import and export of GMOs under its Biosafety Law. (Turkey still does not have a Biosafety Law to control and regulate GMO issues). Therefore, the Turkish Government is acting illegally under international law. Moreover, the government does not show any respect to the demands of consumers and farmers, who do not want GM products in their country. We, the civil initiative, are blaming the governing party for poisining the people, by importing GM products to our lands and our tables.

The countries who have signed the Cartagena Protocol are committed not to ship GMOs to Turkey without an "advance informed agreement" and without due notification procedures either, so we are also warning the governments of the countries who produce and export GM crops that the Turkish people do not want your GMOs or any GM products in our country!

The principle of cautiousness requires not to import or grow GM crops in the country unless their safety is confirmed. Thus, the government that permits imports of GM crops and the officials, who do not prohibit the entry of these products with the pretext that there is no regulation about it, are guilty. The Turkish National Biosafety Law has not yet been put into force to regulate and control the GMOs; nonetheless we do not believe that any system of labeling will decrease the potential risks from and the inherently dangerous nature of GMOs. Therefore the only precaution against genetic pollution is prevention NO GMOs.

Turkey has a rich biodiversity on genetic sources and a country that can afford food sovereignty. But our country is being colonisied by agribiotechnology companies and the biopirates with the help of their local stakeholders. Our genetic sources, land, food and life are in danger. The government that is in deadly silence, and the officials that do not care about this colonisation, must pay for their crime.

We demand from the government to stop importing GMO crops, to draw back the GM corn that has been distributed as food and feed. And we remind that this is a crime and criminals must pay for their guilt in tribunals, or get on the ships that brought the GM corns and leave.

No to GMOs Platform

Turkey 8th May 2007

Go to a Print friendly Page

Email this Article to a Friend

Back to the Archive