Campaign calls on Leader to ban production, importation of GMOs

May 29, 2019

TEHRAN — A public spearheaded campaign dubbed “no to genetically modified organisms” has called on the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to legally ban production and importation of any kinds of GMOs in or to the country, Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday.

In a letter sent to the Leader, the campaign has underlined the threats associating with consumption of GMOs.

The letter highlights that importation of GM crops as a source of animal feed without conducting any tests to ensure their safety and the refusal for labeling the genetically modified products are of the issues concerning the public.

It also criticizes ministries of health and agriculture for issuing permits for the importation of the products and not prioritizing the cultivation of organic products.

“While some cancers, strokes and heart conditions could be caused by the use of such products no laboratory to tests the effects of the GMOs are set up in the country,” the letter reads.

Finally the campaign asks for placing total ban on importation as well as cultivation of GM crops in the country and prosecuting violators for importing the products to the country. It also urges the ministries on health, agricultures and industry, mine and trade to support cultivation of organic products.

For the past two decades some are commonly expressing concerns about unwanted changes in nutritional content, the creation of allergens and toxic effects on bodily organs, due to the consumption genetically modified food. In addition to the negative health effects, it is believed that cultivation of the GMOs will negatively impact croplands, the ecosystem as well as a dramatic reduction in plant diversity. In addition, it is very difficult to stop the spread of GM crops as they can easily transfer to areas where natural crops are growing through means like wind and insect pollination.

According to the European Commission nineteen out of the 28 member state countries of the European Union have voted to either partially or fully ban GMOs. This comes after the European Commission called for each EU nation to vote if they wanted to opt out of having to grow GMO crops even if they were allowed to do so within the boundaries of the EU.

Several countries such as France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Poland, Denmark, Malta, Slovenia, Italy and Croatia have chosen a total ban. Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium has opted out, as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Flemish region of Belgium, England and Romania are open to GMOs.

MQ/MG

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