By Nigar Orujova
Azerbaijan will destroy genetically modified plants and food produced with the use of GMOs, the Cabinet of Ministers reported on October 14.
Changes have been made to the rules with the respect to the withdrawal, disposal or destruction of unfit-to-eat foods, approved by the Cabinet in February 2005.
The Ministries of Economy and Industry, Health, Agriculture, Ecology and Natural Resources, the State Customs Committee and the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patents – using the results of relevant studies and expertise – solve issues related to the seizure, disposal or the destruction of genetically modified plants, as well as agricultural plant materials created through modern biotechnology and genetic engineering and food produced using genetically modified plants.
In case of impossibility of industrial re-processing of food products or raw materials unfit for consumption, and if they cannot be used as animal feed, genetically modified plants, agricultural plant materials created by means of modern biotechnology and genetic engineering, as well as food products produced with using genetic material of genetically modified plants will be destroyed.
Azerbaijan continues to toughen its laws on the use of genetically modified products. Earlier, the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology, and Patents had decided to carry out measures to curb the illicit circulation food products made from genetically modified plants.
Moreover changes are made to requirements on packaging and labeling that would ensure consumers of the lack of GMOs in food products.
In Azerbaijan, a country rich in natural resources, GMOs are prohibited in food production based on the ninth article of the law “On food products.” Azerbaijani legislation bans the import and distribution of genetically modified plants and their inclusion in the state register.
Moreover, in April, Azerbaijan decided to enforce criminal liability for the use of GMOs.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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