December 26, 2011
Armenia's Ministry of Agriculture is pushing for a ban on the use of hormonal additives in feed and foods as well as all other artificial animal growth stimulants, in its new draft of the food safety bill.
"There are a variety of hormones available in the country, which were in fact unknown to the feed production industry until a few years ago. As a result, many farmers began to use them vigorously," said Minister of Agriculture Sergo Karapetyan.
"That is the cause of our concern: today there are many studies that prove the harm these hormones present to consumers' health," the minister said. Similarly in imported products, if evidence of hormones is found, the products will be destroyed.
Many members of the Armenian Parliament said the adopted draft bill was too soft - many also proposed extending the ban to include genetically modified products. In terms of feed production Armenia is the fastest growing country in the CIS after Kazakhstan. Soon Armenia will launch a major investment project on the promotion of livestock development.
Part of this project includes plans for the construction of a feed plant capable of producing 160,000 tonnes of feed per year, as well as the construction of more than a dozen smaller feed production enterprises. The total investment for the development of feed production is estimated at about US$20 million, a record amount for Armenia.