Ukraine tightens GMO policy

22-03-2012 | |

Ukraine in recent years has been actively discouraging GMOs, with as a result that the proportion of such products has been steadily decreasing: in 2007 about 50% of products in the Ukraine market contained a GMO, while in 2008 this number had reduced to 8%. Now in the Ukraine only 5% of all products contain GMOs, said Vladimir Semenovich, director of Ukrainian experimental food research center at a recent press conference.

Ukraine, however, continues to struggle against the GM-production, and in accordance with new rules regulating product labeling, it is planning to abandon the current definition of products containing GMO as products where the proportion of GMO exceeds 0.9%.
Presumably starting this summer, Ukraine will consider all products containing any percentage of genetically modified ingredients as GMO. The draft resolution has been already issued on the WTO website and work is underway to harmonize it with the members of the WTO in accordance with the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.
U.S. and Canada strongly oppose the new definition because effect of the new rule would reduce the export of products with a share of less than 0.9% GMO in Ukraine from these countries by 90%.
The Canadia Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade asked in an official letter dated February 23 for the Ukraine to clarify the appropriateness of the government decision to approve the "Procedure of labeling (marking) of food relative to their content of genetically modified organisms."
The ministry is worried that the new labeling "[…]could lead to doubts about the safety of consumers or other characteristics of products, despite the fact that they have passed a risk assessment and were considered safe for human consumption." The decision could be an "[…]additional barrier to trade[…]", which goes against the obligations of Ukraine to the WTO, the letter said.

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