The Council of State ruled on Monday that the importation of genetically modified (GM) food will be temporarily halted while more stringent regulations are enacted, a move designed to better oversee the use of the highly controversial food products.
The decision comes as part of the Council of State's ruling in favor of an appeal by the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ministry against the standing laws regarding GM food importation by Turkey, which agricultural unions have categorized as destructive to the domestic agricultural sector.
Current regulations stipulate that GM produce can be fed to livestock but not to humans, a practice the Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Ministry defended in mid January when the ministry announced it would approve five new strains of GM corn for importation by Turkey. No GM foods may be legally produced in Turkey.
The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ministry's appeal against the importation of GM foods by Turkey began in 2009, when it cited concerns from agricultural unions as a chief reason for the tighter regulation of GM food imports. The Council of State sided with the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ministry on Monday, stating, “According to the Constitution and other relevant legislation, the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ministry is seen as the authority on agricultural regulation.”
The Council of State in turn called for the drafting of new legislation on Monday that would set more rigorous standards for the importation of GM foods, citing the necessity of better testing of GM products to determine potential heath risks before they are approved for importation.
CihanGüncelleme Tarihi: 07 Şubat 2012, 16:26