Import of GMO condition for entry into WTO
BRUSSELS – The European Commission told Serbia that the GMO Act must be aligned with EU regulations as soon as possible, ”Kurir” writes.
The European Commission told Serbia that there is a need to amend the law on genetically modified organisms (GMO) in order to join the WTO, according to “Kurir”.
”Law on GMO should urgently comply with the EU regulations”, says the annual report of the European Commission, which was, within the enlargement package, presented in Brussels.
In Serbia, there is a ban on cultivation and sale of GMO, including genetically modified soybeans, corn and a variety of other food items. A similar ban until a few years ago existed in the EU, but was abolished after a complicated dispute with major exporters of GMO, U.S. and Canada, which are accused of violating EU rules on free trade, ”Kurir” reports.
WTO has 157 members, most of which regulate the production and sale of GMO, but none of them applies a complete ban.
As ”Kurir” learned, the panel in 2008 ruled that no product shall not be prohibited unless it is conclusively proven that is unsafe or unhealthy, and the EU has allowed the import of these products, provided that they must undergo strict controls and be clearly labeled. Such restrictions do not apply in the U.S. and many other countries where genetically modified food is sold freely .
Dr. Miladin Sevarlic, a professor at the Faculty of Agriculture, says that this is not new condition of EU to Serbia: ”The United States insist on that because most of the companies whose products contain GMO are located there.”
Assistant to the Minister of Trade, Bojana Todorovic, said that Serbia’s accession to the WTO is in the final stage and that membership in the organization would send a positive signal to investors. ”The only thing that remains to be done are changes to the statutory provisions related to GMO and to change the articles of the Law on Excise and copyright”, said Todorovic.