July 14, 2011


Hungary destroys GM maize fields



Some 400 hectares of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified (GMO) seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary.


The GMO maize has been ploughed under, said deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar, but pollen has not spread from the maize.


GMO seeds are banned in Hungary, unlike several EU members. The free movement of goods within the EU means that authorities will not investigate how the seeds arrived in Hungary but they will check where the goods can be found, Bognar said.


Controllers found Pioneer and Monsanto products among the seeds planted, and regional public radio reported that the two biggest international seed producing companies are affected in the matter and GMO seeds could have been sown on up to thousands of hectares in the country.


Authorities have been checking for GMO crops since the beginning of this year as a new regulation came in force this March which stipulates GMO checks before seeds are introduced to the market.


The checks will continue despite the fact that seed traders are obliged to make sure that their products are GMO free, Bognar said.


Local farmers complain that the use of GMO seeds has only been revealed now when it is too late to sow again and the entire year's harvest has been lost.


In addition, the company that distributed the seeds in Baranya County is under liquidation. Therefore, if any compensation is paid by the international seed producers, the money will be paid primarily to that company's creditors, rather than the farmers.

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