On the heels of a recent scare in Armenia regarding the importation of agricultural products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the government says that it has created a working group to ensure that the use of GMOs does not endanger the country’s environment.
A government press release says that the working group includes officials from the agricultural, environmental protection and health ministries, civil society representatives, and independent experts in the field.
According to the release, the group has reached an agreement regarding legislation dealing with the use of GMOs.
Armenian Minister of Agriculture Ignaty Arakelyan told U.S. Ambassador Richard Mills that the public would be “warned in advance” regarding the existence of GMOs in food and other items, since it has yet to be proven that they are safe.
Ambassador Mills is reported to have told Arakelyan that the United States is ready to assist Armenia develop its agriculture, and will be sending specialists for that purpose.
P.S. Many in Armenia and worldwide lambasted the U. S. Embassy in Armenia for inviting the biotechnology giant Monsanto at an agricultural seminar in Yerevan. Monsanto is a leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed and RoundUp (a glyphosate-based herbicide. Currently, legislation in Armenia is relatively unspecific regarding the use/monitoring of GMOs and whether consumers must be made aware of their existence.
Top photo (from left): Minister Arakelyan, Ambassador Mills