“Hungary could be the first to introduce the new European Union regulations allowing countries to ban the cultivation of GMO crops”, a Ministry of Agriculture’s official told Hungarian news agency MTI in Berlin on Friday. In his statement following the “GMO-free Europe” conference, deputy state secretary Dr. András Rácz stressed that in addition to transposing the new regulations into Hungarian law, the Farm Ministry is also working on introducing a new labelling system by the end of the year that would enable foods such as meat, fish, eggs, milk and honey to be labelled as GMO-free if certified as not containing GMOs and livestock receive only GMO-free feed.
Árpád Rácz pointed out that keeping the country GMO free is even included in Hungary’s constitution and the country has come to a broad consensus on the issue that is irrespective of political affiliations. The Government would also like to contribute to ensuring that as many EU member states as possible become GMO-free zones, and this is why Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas has launched the “Alliance for a GMO-free Europe” initiative. The Hungarian government is convinced that maintaining Hungary’s GMO-free status is the only right choice, because it is the only way to ensure that families have access to safe and sustainably produced food and to preserve natural diversity and the competitiveness of Hungarian agriculture, the deputy state secretary insisted.
The Berlin Manifesto adopted at the conference, recommends the development and swift application of similar labelling systems throughout the EU. It was developed with the involvement of over 400 participants, including governments, international organisations and the European Commission. The document also calls for the development of a European Protein Strategy to reduce high dependence on genetically manipulated soy imported into Europe in large quantities. As for the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks, the Berlin Manifesto stresses that any agreement should not endanger the results achieved so far with relation to keeping countries GMO-free or the rights of member states to decide on the issue.
via kormany.hu and MTI photo: csabaimerleg.hu