News 319 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Romania harvests trouble with GM crops

Romania may find itself excluded from the European Union markets and even have difficulties selling its genetically modified products locally, because of delays in complying with European food traceability and labelling regulations.

In 2006, Romanian farmers cultivated almost 130,000 hectares (321,236 acres) of GM soybeans, which makes it the single biggest producer of GM soybeans in Europe, according to the environmental campaign group Greenpeace . A large percentage of the GM soybean crop was also planted with non-certified seed, meaning its origins cannot be identified or traced.

Some farmers keep quiet about their GM crops because they do not even know they have planted GM seeds. Cases of contamination of crops with GM varieties are frequent. "If Romania does not adopt the traceability and labelling measures required by the EU legislation, I am afraid that starting with 2007, all its products containing soybean will be restricted from entering EU markets," according to agricultural consultant Dragos Dima.

The Romanian Ministry of Agriculture has announced a ban on the cultivation of GM soy as of January 1, 2007, but many say Bucharest has done too little, and too late, to address Europe's concerns about the kind of food coming out of Romania.

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