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September 25, 2022

Romania backs GMO crops, while heated debates sparked in Europe

In July the European Commission proposed that each member state should decide whether to allow the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), a fact that sparked heated controversies. Unlike Germany and France, Romania backed the Commission’s proposal, HotNews.ro informs. Germany, France and other member states consider that this change could lead to the fragmentation of the EU’s internal market and could run against the World Trade Organization’s regulations. Italy and Spain expressed concern for a re-nationalization of a common EU policy, while the countries staunchly opposing the cultivation of genetically modified organisms – Austria, Hungary and Greece – back this idea.

The Netherlands, a pro-GMO country, backs the Commission’s proposal, considering it a solution for breaking the deadlock. According to Adrian Radulescu, secretary of state within Romania’s Ministry of Agriculture and Regional Development, Romania supports the cultivation of GMOs and the European Commission’s idea that each member state should decide whether to authorize the cultivation of GMOs. However there were legislative initiatives seeking to impose a five-year ban on the cultivation of GMOs and to have the products that contain GMOs clearly libelled. Romania’s current Agriculture Minister Valeriu Tabara opposed the initiative, arguing that Romania would thus become “Europe’s laggard in what concerns agriculture.”

According to Environment and Forestry Minister Laszlo Borbely, the GMO issue will be discussed both in a cabinet meeting and at the October 14 Environment Council meeting in Brussels. Borbely added he backs any production that comes to the support of farmers and grain production, yet no initiative with a negative impact on environment. Borbely admits that GMO use in Romania is not serious, as it only regards two crops, maize and potato. The European Commission has published a list of GMOs. A type of genetically-modified corn – MON810 – was authorized in 1998 and is cultivated for commercial purposes. Genetically modified crops are designed to withstand pests. Other GMOs authorized by the EU consist of a type of sugar beet, three types of soy beans, three types of rape seeds, six types of cotton and 17 types of corn.

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