October 31, 2011
Vietnam tests GM crops by strict measures
Vietnam is carefully conducting tests on cultivation of gene-modified (GM) crops in stringent manners controlled by the government decree No. 69, said Nguyen Tri Ngoc, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Cultivation Department.
Ngoc made this statement responding to the concerns over the potential risks of GM crops on human and animal health and environment, adding the regulations on testing of GM crops were built by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Health.
The Vietnamese government allowed the country to conduct experimental cultivation of three GM crops corn, soy and cotton. Vietnam imports large quantity of corn and soy for animal feed production as well as cotton for its apparel industry.
It currently has no intention to use GM crops of rice, coffee, cashew, pepper, tea and other crops.
But so far, only GM corn is going under testing, Ngoc noted. In 2010, the country imported 1.625 million tonnes of corn worth US$332.81 million mainly from Argentina, India, Thailand and Brasilia.
The field testing of GM corn passed and the testing need to pass other four steps before being granted permission to be used by local farmers, Ngoc said.
It is expected that the testing will not finish by end-2011 as scheduled but delayed to late 2012 or by 2013, said Ngoc.