Gabriel Paun, the founder of the Agent Green Association (Romania), says lab results confirm that 48% of the soybean cultivated in the tested areas across Ukraine is genetically modified.
“We’ve chosen six key regions in Ukraine, which are altogether producing more than half of Ukraine’s soy. And from each region we took ten samples from ten different very big fields (60 samples). 29 out of 60 samples were positive,” he declared.
According to Paun, the samples were taken from Poltava, Khmelnytsky, Kyiv, Kirovohrad, Zhytomyr, and Vinnytsia regions, where more than half of total production of soybeans in Ukraine is located. The expert also pointed out that “soy samples from Ukrainian fields had been inspected in the federal laboratory of Austria – Umweltbundesamt”.
“We gave the test data to confirm our test results. It was also confirmed that this was not accidental pollution, as this was the actual content of GMOs. These are GMO varieties that are grown on the Ukrainian territory,” said the Donau Soja Association Ukraine Country Director, Oksana Prosolenko.
Prosolenko says such results indicate direct violation of Ukrainian legislation.
“Even the figure itself doesn’t matter. We say that the majority of the market operates in the illegal zone. Growing genetically modified crops in Ukraine today is illegal, because we officially don’t have more than one registered GM line in Ukraine. Everything that happens with soy is an example of illegal actions and we would like to bring it in line with the current legislation,” she said.
Paun also added that the issue of legislative regulation of GMO turnover should be resolved before 2019 because, according to the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, Ukraine was obliged to synchronize with its legislation 15 EU law acts related to approbation, registration, placing on the market, control, coexistence, and transboundary movement of genetically modified organisms.
“We just did it to help our neighboring country, Ukraine, to make this information available and to start the discussion hoping that we will have these genetically modified organisms strictly regulated also in Ukraine like in Romania. And I also think that the country has to make a choice whether to go for GMOs, which is a risky business, or to go GMO-free, which offers market opportunities in Europe,” Paun said.
According to Prosolenko, key associations together with public organizations have written an open letter to the president, the prime minister and the head of the Verkhovna Rada to draw the attention of top authorities to the problem of uncontrolled GMO turnover in Ukraine, and also to help resolve the issue.
“We want to appeal to our government, the state agencies, the Verkhovna Rada, and the president, in order to draw their attention to this sensitive issue. Ukrainian consumers don’t want to consume GMO products either,” she said. (UNIAN/Business World Magazine)
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