Ministerial clash over GMO ban
Bucharest – Plans by Romanian Environment Minister Lazlo Borbely to implement a five-year ban on GMO acreage beginning next spring have been fiercely attacked by the country’s Agriculture Minister Valeriu Tabara. Borbely has prompted Romania’s National Environment Agency (ANPM) to conduct a study on the impact of the GM maize MON810 on the environment. Meanwhile, he urged parliament to adopt the ban in the second-largest GMO producing country in the EU. The Environment Minister argued that due to contradictory and insufficient scientific data concerning MON810, the impact of its cultivation on Romanian agriculture remains unclear.
Need for more research
Tabara, a liberal democrat politician who worked for Monsanto before his appointment in September, said that the measure “would make Romania lag behind the rest of Europe,” adding that he “cannot understand how the Environment Minister could sign something like this.” But Borbely enjoys strong support among NGOs, which in September had called for Tabara to be sacked for his links to Monsanto. “We hail Minister Borbely’s initiative to take the first steps towards banning GMOs on Romanian soil. If he’s successful with the initiative, we’ll consider him the rescuer of Romanian agriculture,” said Gabriel Paun, Chairman of the anti-GMO lobby group ‘Agent Green’.