Turkey: Animal food producers concerned by biosafety law that blocks GM soy and corn
Daily News & Economic Review (Turkey)
Sunday, December 12, 2010
ANKARA Anatolia News Agency
Sector officials are worried about the future of animal food production in Turkey, due to a new law that blocks importing genetically modified soy and corn products.
The Turkey Animal Food Producers' Union, or TURKIYEM, has applied to Turkey's Bio-Safety Commission for the approval of three soy genes that have been approved by the European Union.
Animal food producers in Turkey have not been able to import modified soy and corn products since the bio-safety law was enacted in September and have already used nearly all of their stock. The producers have recently started to complain about the situation, saying that if the commission does not approve the usage and import of the three types of genes approved by the EU, then the sector will suffer dire consequences.
Producers insist that the soy cultivation in Turkey is not sufficient for the sector and they need 1.7 million tons of soy and soy pulp to be imported annually. Due to the import ban, producers said they are trying to meet their need via domestic sources.
Producers also said authorities were even checking imported items for GM contamination; for example, if a GM product was previously carried in the same vessel.
Commission yet to make decision
Bio-Safety Commission Chairman Hakan Yardimci said the commission had received an application from TURKIYEM for the law on importing genetically modified organisms to be amended but had not yet made a decision.
"They have been using their stock imported before the law was enacted because the Agriculture Ministry blocked producers from importing under the previous authorization. Now it depends on our decision whether the producers will be allowed to start importing the types of products they asked for," said YardÄ±mcÄ±.
In its latest meeting, the commission formed subcommittees to evaluate the risk and potential socio-economic impact of the modified soy and corn. The commission will make its decision on the soy and corn after the subcommittees finalize their studies in about a month.