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Serbia will not allow cultivation, import of GMO products

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BELGRADE – Serbia’s Ministry of Agriculture has said in a statement that it will not allow the cultivation of genetically modified crops on the territory of Serbia or importation of GMO products for human consumption.

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The ministry, however, said that “the law on GMOs, which has been in force since 2009, is not safe for the citizens of Serbia and has to change.”

According to the ministry statement, the law in force allows for genetic modification of up to 0.9 percent, which creates room even for experimental modifications.

“Changing the current Law on GMOs would bring order to the market, products would have labels on them and consumers would have information about the contents of the foods they buy,” the ministry said.

Through amending the Law on GMOs, Serbia’s legislation would be aligned with the EU legislation in this area, and theirs is the most restrictive in the world, the statement said.

The Civic Initiative “GMO Free Serbia” and several other associations and non-governmental organizations organized a protest meeting in front of the Belgrade City Assembly on Wednesday, demanding a moratorium on trade and use of genetically modified foods in Serbia.

The protest was staged over statements by the agriculture minister and media reports according to which Serbia has to allow GMO trade in the country if it wants to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Those taking part in the protest appealed to Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, styling him “last line of defense,” not to sign the bill announcing liberalization of GMO trade in Serbia.

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