World Bulletin/News Desk
There is no genetically modified rice that is being traded in the world and there is none in Turkey, Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Minister Mehdi Eker firmly stated on Thursday.
Eker, who was attending the Expo fair in Antalya on Thursday, responded to questions from the press regarding allegations that first emerged on April 10 that rice with genetically modified content was seized at a customs department.
“It is possible that there could be a spread, perhaps through pulverization on a rice husk, but this does not mean the rice itself is genetically modified.”
He said the İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ), which in a report said that GMOs were detected in rice seized at the border, was guilty of releasing an erroneous report. He said İTÜ later announced that the report was invalid, and even the individual in charge of the report was suspended indefinitely.
He said food is not an ordinary issue and told the press that publishing reports on unconfirmed results and unofficial reports is dangerous. Eker said: “I want the public to understand three points.
First, genetically modified food production has not been allowed in Turkey and it is still not being allowed. Second, its import is also not allowed. Third, and most importantly, our inspections on this are very strict. There is no reason for our citizens to be concerned in any way.”
Eker's remarks came hours after a group of Greenpeace members gathered in front of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry to protest the alleged GMO presence in the rice seized in April. The group opened up stands used by street vendors in Turkey who sell rice, with signs that read “Rice with GMOs.”
The activists were stopped by police officers and ministry security. Group members also said the İTÜ's backpedalling on its report was a crime and a direct attempt at influencing any court trial that might arise as a result of the rice seized in April.
Turkish development minister says country must realize digital transformation of industry to boost competitive power
Suspects said to pushing online smear campaign against counter-terrorist operation in Afrin, Syria
Ruling AK Party deputy chairman Mehdi Eker says 'uniform approach' in fight against terrorism is important
Turkish Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman welcomes Burundi counterpart Pascal Nyabenda
Turkish prime minister says Operation Olive Branch continues 'as planned'
Bill, submitted by ruling AK Party and opposition MHP, looks ahead to their electoral alliance in 2019 presidential poll
Ibrahim Kalin says any step to support PKK in Afrin will be considered terrorist act
Turkish Statistical Institute adds Istanbul to reach 16.3M in 2023
'They were forced to go back after artillery shooting, this file is closed for now,' says Turkish president
Despite everything the country did for Syria, Turkey continues to suffer from unjust accusations over Afrin, says expert
Nationals of Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine held across country
Turkey’s goal is to turn Suakin island into a center of attraction, says Cavusoglu
President says Turkey will make its red lines clear to everyone
Turkey's EU minister says fight against terror groups needs consistency
Gen. Akar’s visit comes a day after Turkish foreign minister met Jordan king, counterpart in capital Amman