Sofia Echo


Five-year ban on GM foods proposed in Bulgaria

Author: Alex Bivol Date: Fri, Feb 05 2010 12 Comments, 5156 Views
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Following the wave of protests against a bill of amendments that would allow genetically-modified organisms (GMO) to be grown in Bulgaria, the country's ruling party will now propose a five-year ban on all genetically-modified cultures in the country, it emerged on February 5 2010.

The ban would affect all crops and the entire country, Environment Minister Nona Karadjova said. Now, there is a ban on some crops in parts of the country, she said.

The measure was a compromise, Karadjova said, between the strong public opposition to GMOs and the European Union regulations, which preclude an outright ban on laboratory and commercial cultivation.

The initial amendments, which were passed at first reading by Parliament, allowed cultivation of genetically-modified tobacco, vines, cotton, rose, wheat and vegetables. The bill did not allow cultivation in areas protected under the EU's Natura 2000 programme, but lowered the minimum distance from protected areas at which such crops could be cultivated.

About 300 people protested in the centre of Sofia against proposed amendments to the Genetically Modified Foods Act (GMFA) on January 31 2010.

Protests were held in front of the National Library, under the motto "Clean food, a healthy earth! Bulgaria GM foods free." Later, protesters marched to the buildings of Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian Parliament.

The protesters demanded any decision on loosening GM foods restrictions to be postponed until a wider public debate on the topic had been held.

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    • Anonymous
      Mr. Hypo Rating:
      #12 04, 49, Sun, Jul 18 2010

      Monsanto is a good company that is simply trying to find new and innovative ways to feed the world. GM Corn allows a 33% increase in yields. It has genes from insecticide producing plants to produce its own toxins to kill insects (NOT HUMANS). Furthermore, Monsanto has a right to request that Farmers purchase new seeds every season. Monsanto invests millions into research and development, and it can't be undermined by some guys simply keeping a few seeds every year and growing them, cutting Monsanto out of business. It may be forcing a monopoly or forcing them to "need" Monsanto [...]

      Read the full comment but Monsanto is not stopping them from growing less growing "natural" seeds that are sprayed with tons of insecticide. FARMERS WANT GM. They want to use less insecticide and have the plants make their own. They want 33% more crops per acre. And most of all, they dont mind buying them every year. Thats why Monsanto is king of gm crops.

      -- Critter

      BTW for those conspiracy theorists, Monsanto is nice if you see what they do. They took basmati rice that farmers could only grow a certain number of months a year, combined the "fragrance" and "flavor" genes with other "less tasty" rice varieties to have "basmati" all year round. U think the farmers don't appreciate that? Think Monsanto is taking over the world? I think Monsanto is making new innovations to help the world.

      P.S.S. Conspiracy theorists. I like conspiracies. Find one in my name.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #11 20, 01, Mon, Feb 15 2010

      Vlad i understand your point of view in wanting to feed the world as quickly as possible but creating gm foods is an un natural method which will create a dependance of some very small communities on some very big profit minded companies. there is nothig wrong with seasonal products and frankly here in france people are sick of being offered force grown tomatoes all year round for example. In bg the seasonal products are fantastic.Its not chemical seeds we need it is irrigation and less intensive farming more small holdings but ofcourse this does not fit into eu plans. [...]

      Read the full comment

    • Anonymous
      1 Rating:
      #10 15, 49, Mon, Feb 15 2010

      Personally i don't give a shit what they do to my food as long as it's proven to be safe. Try buy normal potatoes in Bulgaria. So far i haven't been able to find constant quality all year round. Maybe a genetically modified government is an option for Bulgaria?

    • Anonymous
      dr oh Rating:
      #9 13, 35, Sun, Feb 07 2010

      Georgi, they are protesting against the ban out of ignorance. Betcha most
      have not grown anything outside a flower pot, if that. Detect confusion about how crops improvement was done since antiquity, in contrast to what Monsanto et al. are doing. No idea what the dominance of mono cultures would do. What the curtailed availability of wild or native strains will do. Just clueless "early adopters"...pityful.
      Borisov, you ass, it is not scaremongering by green activists, but healthy scepticism. Just use your brain and go back to your botany and biology schoolbooks.
      Hysteria is [...]

      Read the full comment not necessary, but
      pseudo avant-garde blather is even less needed now.
      And finally, which EU overpaid geniuses put that stupid regulation in motion? Monsanto lobbyists? --
      Laboratory work will always go on, ban or no ban. Research is important.
      Commercial cultivation, on the other hand, spreads the GMO to adjacent land and there is no stopping it.

    • Anonymous
      Hoosier Rating:
      #8 12, 56, Sun, Feb 07 2010

      We have been gentically modifying food since prehistoric farming. We are only speeding up the process, becoming more exact. Go ahead and give the edge to the Canadians and Americans. Millions starve so some fat egotistical Frenchies and Brits can preach with a full stomach.

    • Profile preview
      vladislov Rating:
      #7 19, 35, Sat, Feb 06 2010

      ROBERT -Why are you mad at Monsanto when the usual farmer saves seeds from his best producing plants and breeds the cows which give the most milk in order improve the productivity of his farm. Are these responsible agriculturalists villains? It's not that long ago that French grape stock was saved from phylloxeria (sp?)by introducing new root stock. Was that a sin?

    • Anonymous neutral
      #6 17, 36, Sat, Feb 06 2010

      lets hope a ban in bulgaria will help to loosen the strangle hold that companies such as monsanto have on the world. chemicals are good for nobody

    • Anonymous
      Georgi Rating:
      #5 16, 53, Sat, Feb 06 2010

      i dont get it isnt this a good thing that there will be no more genetically modified food for 5 years? why are they protesting against the ban?

    • Anonymous
      Milan Smrz Rating:
      #4 14, 31, Sat, Feb 06 2010

      Dear Borisov, do you know why? It is not a question of free farmers decision, but a question of strange genes spreading into whole nature. Many examples are known. Can you imagine what will happen with weed with antiherbicide properties...

    • Anonymous
      Borisov Rating:
      #3 01, 36, Sat, Feb 06 2010

      What a display of lack of political leadership! Why don't give farmers the choice whether to grow GM or not? Bulgaria is turning into an open air museum, if it closes its eyes for innovation and decides to follow a scaremongering bunch of green activists.

    • Profile preview
      vladislov Rating:
      #2 21, 18, Fri, Feb 05 2010

      ROB -- You better not eat corn which is a far cry from the "natural" maize that Columbus brought back and the same goes for peppers. Nothing we eat today has not been crossbred and developed by farmers who wanted better crops. Unless you enjoy Bulgaria's wild boar, you better not eat "natural" pork! Politicians should not give in to hysteria.

    • Anonymous
      Rob Williams Rating:
      #1 18, 28, Fri, Feb 05 2010

      Good news for everyone that enjoys natural food.

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