EU permits moratorium on GM maize varieties in Hungary

On 18 September, the Regulatory Committee of the DG Environment of the European Union decided to allow Hungary’s moratorium on the import of genetically modified varieties of maize. The Hungarian government justifies this moratorium with the lack of national rules for co-existence. A draft co-existence regulation entered parliamentary debate on 16 October.

Under the "safeguard clause“, Hungary imposed the moratorium on the import of GM maize in January 2005. However, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) states that such a moratorium may not be continued indefinitely and, therefore, urges the parliament to agree on co-existence regulations as soon as possible.

The draft co-existence regulation, which will amend the Act XXVII/1998 on Gene Technology Activities, was presented already in July. The Environmental, European Union Affairs, and Economic Committees accepted the draft for general debate in the Parliament; the Agricultural, Health, and Human Rights Committees rejected it. In a parliamentary debate on 16 October, representatives from all relevant committees presented their opinions.

MARD has also prepared rules for the implementation of the co-existence regulations, which will be finalised by the ministry once the parliament has agreed on the amendment.