ArmInfo. The head of the State Food Security Service of the Ministry of Agriculture of Armenia, Ishkhan Karapetyan, considers it unreasonable to sell GMO products on the territory of the republic. "I, as a citizen, do not want to eat food that contains GMOs," he told journalists on November 9 after a government meeting.
The head of the department recalled that around the genetically modified organisms in science have long been various discussions. At the same time, within the framework of its powers, the State Service is currently carrying out appropriate actions and studying the process of import and turnover of these products. "Now the volume of seeds imported by Monsanto does not exceed 1% of total imports, I do not think that this, at the moment, contains big risks," Karapetyan said.
Next year, the food safety state service planned large-scale monitoring programs to detect the presence of pesticides, nitrates and GMOs in plant products. "After summing up the monitoring results, we will get the full picture, which will allow us to assess the part of the control," he said. At the same time, according to the official, according to the imperative of the Armenian legislation, there must be a marking on the products indicating the presence of GMOs. The same principle is followed by the technical regulations of the Customs Union, where the permissible threshold of GMO content in food is set at 0.9%. In turn, as the Minister of Agriculture of Armenia Ignaty Arakelyan noted, at present the agency is studying the activities of the company Monsanto, which has been registered and functioning in the country for 20 years. "Today we are studying possible risks from the company's activities, also in terms of environmental protection," the minister said. It is noteworthy that, as Arakelyan pointed out in response to the question of ArmInfo, as early as 2013, the Ministry of Nature Protection acted with the legislative initiative on GMO products in Armenia, but for some unknown reasons the process was suspended. "We plan to return to the legislative initiative and understand how relevant it is today, and whether there is a need for it," he said.
At the same time, the head of the Ministry of Agriculture sees the danger that the use of GMO seeds will spoil the soil and will jeopardize the development of organic farming in Armenia. "The danger exists always, we need to understand how true this is, what is being said today, what are the risks," concluded the head of the Ministry of Agriculture of Armenia.
Note that on November 1, the efforts of the US Embassy in Armenia in Yerevan hosted a presentation of the activities of Valmont and Monsanto. Both companies are well known in the world market: the former is engaged in the sale and maintenance of mechanized irrigation equipment, and there are no complaints about it. The same can not be said about the transnational corporation Monsanto - this company is engaged in the production of transgenic seeds and poisons for their processing. And then the charge d'affaires of the US Embassy in Armenia Rafik Mansur marked the entry into the Armenian market of a whole presentation. In an interview with reporters, Alexander Zvyagintsev, Sales Manager for Monsanto in the CIS, assured that the company will not offer Armenian partners to work with genetically modified products, since they "do not do this in countries where it is prohibited." But for about 20 years now, the company has been selling seeds in Armenia and advising farmers. In turn, the US Embassy in Armenia reported that Monsanto has been selling its products on the Armenian market since 2006. Speaking about the objectives of the presentation of the Monsanto and Valmont companies (the sale of irrigation equipment) in Armenia, the US Embassy explained that the event was held in the context of US policy to stimulate US investments in the Armenian economy. The topic of a possible entry into the Armenian market of the American GMO giant was not left indifferent by the soloist of the rock band System of a Down, Serge Tankian, who, in his Facebook page, called on Armenia to "stay away" from the American company Monsanto. In particular, he wrote: "Because of its policy, Monsanto has earned a reputation in the United States and Europe for a" corporation of evil. "Unlike in the United States, in Armenia, I have the opportunity to enjoy the taste of organic, crunchy apples - a product of long-term agricultural work. then it will be like this. "Thanks to Monsanto, I can not find such apples in the US," Tankian writes. In the end of September, The Guardian published an unmasking article that Monsanto officially spent about 300,000 - 400 on lobbying for its interests in the European Parliament 000 euros per year, and internal correspondence was also made public where the company's employees discuss ways to better prevent the normal study of the glyphosate pesticide and its recognition as dangerous, and correspond with some US officials and scientists about it. that the European organization EFSA, responsible for product safety, copied its 2015 report on glyphosate from the Monsanto 2012 authorship report.