ISTANBUL, Nov.5, 3009 (Zaman.com) .
Amid mounting reactions to a recently adopted regulation allowing the import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to Turkey, some nongovernmental organizations applied to the Council of State yesterday for a stay of execution.
When the regulation allowing the trade of GMOs was adopted in late October, agricultural organizations, consumer associations and the opposition parties criticized the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government for putting the public’s health in danger by allowing the import of these foods.
The Food Safety Movement and the Turkish Health Care Workers’ Union (Türk Sağlık-Sen) applied to the Council of State yesterday for a postponement of the regulation, claiming that the regulation protects GMO producers and runs contrary to both the Constitution and the UN’s Universal Declaration on Consumer Rights.
The head of the Food Safety Movement, Kemal Özer, said that with the regulation, companies which do not declare that they are importing GMOs will be able to bring these products into Turkey easily. He also said that this regulation eliminated the responsibilities of companies who import these products.
The GMO regulation also drew the ire of Türk Sağlık-Sen, whose members held a demonstration in front of the Council of State in Ankara yesterday. Türk Sağlık-Sen President Önder Kahveci demanded the annulment of the regulation, which he said poses a great risk to public health.
“This issue is important, and we need to hurry. We will not let anyone put public health in danger. I hope that the Council of State will give a verdict which will please the nation,” said Kahveci.
Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker, on the other hand, said that ongoing debates about the GMO regulation were aimed at creating “information pollution” on the subject.