Turkish government denies changing regulations to permit sale of food products containing up to 0.9 percent GM ingredients

A change made to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry regulations now permits the production and sale of foods that contain traces of genetically modified (GM) organisms, Turkish media reported on Thursday; however, the government has issued a denial.

An amendment made to the directive on Genetically Modified Organisms and Products published in the Official Gazette on Thursday indicates that the ministry will allow the sale of products with a proportion of GM contaminants of 0.9 percent or less. 
A Ministry of Agriculture statement released on Thursday afternoon, however, denied that the amendments will lead to GM foods making their way into the food chain. In a written statement, the ministry said that the changes are related to trace elements and do not aim to allow the use of GM organisms in food products. It also said the amendments had been introduced after considering recommendations from the Biosecurity Board as well as the opinions of universities, relevant ministries and professional organizations. 
Another provision of the amendment states that if the modified genes found in the contaminants have been approved by the Biosecurity Council, the products can be approved for sale and use for their intended purpose. Yet another amendment changes the definition of genetically modified contaminants, describing these as GM organisms that spread to the product during the manufacturing, processing, preparing, progress, wrapping, packaging, transportation or storage phases of the production process either by accident or in a manner that cannot be prevented.  

Experts say the amendment is equivalent to allowing the sale and production of GM foods. Many also say the revised regulation is in violation of Turkey’s Biosecurity Law. Civil society groups have said they will submit an appeal to the Council of State. In a statement it released on the new amendment, the No To GMOs Platform, made up of several environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, noted that the changes will bring the GMO issue “to a most dangerous level.” 

Read the full, original article: Regulation change signals allowing GM foods, gov’t denies it

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