[RO] Joining the EU troubles GM soy bean farmers

On 01 January 2007, Romania will join the European Union. While the public broadly appreciates this step, soy bean farmers are afraid: most of them cultivate herbicide-tolerant GM soy beans, which are not authorised for cultivation in the EU.

Starting in 2007, Romanian farmers will have consequently to use conventional soy bean varieties. Since severe weed problems knocked down the Romanian soy bean production in the 1990s, farmers are afraid of a similar situation in the near future. Only the introduction of GM soy beans in 1999 ended the weed problems.

Now, Romanian farmers have visited colleagues in the USA. They hope to learn how to improve communication with the public on the topic of biotechnology, to result in broader support of their call for the quick approval of GM soy beans. A group of the largest Romanian soy bean growers is lobbying for provisional authority from the EU to grow the GM varieties. Although it is probably too late for cultivation in 2007, farmers are optimistic about obtaining provisional authority for 2008.


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