Legislative Loophole Raises Concerns Over Genetically Modifi


by NTDTelevision

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Ukrainian food shoppers today don’t only worry about where to find their products. They also worry about whether their food contains Genetically Modified Organisms.

In December 2009, legislation was passed that all products should be clearly labelled. Today even on bread you can see the mark – no GMO. But to prove whether or not this is true is almost impossible, as the tests can only be performed in special purpose laboratories.

[Alexander Kukharenko, Laboratory Chief]:
“After the legislation was passed almost all the products in supermarkets appeared to be without GMO. Everybody made the stickers and put them on their goods. But it is obvious that to test all the products with 20-25 laboratories in Ukraine is impossible.”

The laboratory has permission from the Government to test products for GMO. But they reveal that bread manufacturers very rarely perform the study.

[Alexander Kukharenko, Laboratory Chief]:
“We made the tests with bread only three times. It was handmade bread, elite, for restaurants.”

The manufacturers of bread say that they attach the label “No GMO” but don't do the tests. This is possible due to a loophole in legislation. The manufacturers claim that it is not clear who is obliged to do the tests -- manufacturers or the suppliers of raw materials.


While manufacturers dispute who is obliged to do the tests ecologists raise the alarm. They say that GMO should be prohibited in Ukraine because the long term effects on humans is unknown and unpredictable.

[Tatiana Tymochko, Ukrainian Ecological League Head]:
“In fact this is just a usual price strip. They took this strip and started to print “No GMO” on it. But the manufacturer doesn’t carry any responsibility because this mark is just attached to the plastic packing.”

A recent Committee of Consumer Policy report revealed that the Ukrainian Government did not allot any funds from the 2010 budget for GMO tests.

NTD News, Kyiv, Ukraine

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