By Nigar Orujova
No genetically modified organisms were found during a routine check by the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology, and Patents.
The organization has published the results of tests conducted to determine the presence of genetically modified plants in certain products on July 30.
The report notes that in order to prevent the illicit trafficking of food produced using genetically modified plants, and protect of consumer rights, the Committee has decided to implement a number of necessary measures.
As part of these measures, the State Control Service for Technical Regulation and Standardization under the State Committee has taken 20 samples of products in commercial networks, point of sales, and markets.
The samples were sent for analysis to a laboratory at the Experimental Test Centre (AzTest) of the State Committee.
The samples included five types of rice, two types of soy, corn, green peas, melons, watermelons, and other products. The laboratory has already analyzed some of the products – including rice, soy, corn, green peas, melons, and watermelons – and has reported that no GMOs have been found. The other products are currently undergoing testing.
Azerbaijan by law prohibits the use of genetically modified plants in the production of food products, and in April, Azerbaijan decided to enforce criminal liability for the use of GMOs.
Moreover, changes have been made to the requirements on packaging and labeling that would ensure consumers of the lack of GMOs in food products.
Azerbaijani legislation bans the import and distribution of genetically modified plants and their inclusion in the state registry.
Azerbaijan joined the Cartagena Protocol in 2005 and has a commitment to prevent the spread of GMOs and their use for commercial purposes. In 2011, the country approved a law on the protection and effective use of genetic resources to protect its population's health and the country's biodiversity.
GMOs, the result of a genetic engineering process, were created as a solution for countries facing famine and poor land conditions. However, nature-rich Azerbaijan is not among such countries thus there is no need for GMO products here and new measures to fight GMO spread in the country are expected to stop the penetration.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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