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.
Turkey is set to win a deal for the opening in December of a new chapter in Turkey's stalled accession talks for the 28-nation bloc
Turkey's largest airport, Ataturk Airport is set to become Turkey’s first air hub to appear on Google Street View
Turkey has issued a travel warning, advising its citizens to delay trip to Russia following the downing of Russian warplane on Tuesday
Local Bar Association president killed amid gunfire in Diyarbakir province
In a sign of rapprochement gaining momentum between the two sides, Russia is backing the Syrian affiliate of the PKK terrorist organization, PYD, in Azez
IOM staff on the ground both in Turkey and Greece believes a large-scale Turkish coastguard training operation 'have disrupted some of the traffic'
'Our policy remains unchanged and the claims, therefore, are inaccurate,' a government official says
Construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline on schedule for completion in 2018, says Turkish FM Cavusoglu
Turkish president accuses Moscow of striking opposition groups in Syria under pretext of fighting ISIL
Turkish FM Cavusoglu says Ankara does not favor tension with its 'neighbor and friend' Russia
Meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels comes days after Turkey downs Russian warplane
Turkish president seeks to meet his Russian counterpart in Paris on November 30
Friday's papers cover back-and-forth between Turkish and Russian presidents over shooting down of Russian warplane by Turkey
Turkey halts air raids against ISIL in Syria in order to avoid any further crises as with downed Russian warplane
Turkish prime minister uses UK newspaper column to say Turkey will continue to defend its territory but work with Russia and allies to calm tensions
Turkish president says the incident with Russia not a 'cause of war; this is what the international engagement rules requires of all nations'