July 8, 2015


US$5 billion of GM crops enter Iran yearly



US$5 billion worth of genetically modified (GM) crops manage to enter Iran yearly despite restrictions, and fingers are pointing to official lapses in the approval process as well as exporting countries that fail to declare GM products.


Imports of GM crops, including corn, soybeans, rapeseed and edible oil, had been given the green light by the Ministry of Agriculture "with prior knowledge", according to a review conducted by Behzad Qareyazi, an official from the ministry.


He added that the Cartagena Convention had been violated by the key supplying states of Brazil, Canada and the US, as a result of undeclared GM imports.


"Iranian officials' failure to discover the imported GM products leads to public misconceptions about the inability, at a national level, to distinguish them," Qareyazi said.


In 2013, Iran's agricultural imports were worth US$16 million in total, out of which, GM crops made up a value of US$5 billion, Babak Nakhoda, of the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), said.

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