Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Bulgaria refuses to allow on the European market a product, containing GMO corn

Adelina Marini, October 20, 2009

Bulgaria has decided to abstain in approving a draft decision of the European Commission to allow on the European market products, containing genetically modified corn, the deputy foreign minister Krasimir Kostov announced after the session of the European Affairs Council yesterday where the Bulgaria position was discussed.

The reason for the abstention is that some of the scientific researches do not give explicit explanation of some side effects in the experiments with animals. The animals that were given products with certain amount of GMO corn inexplicably started losing weight.

Bulgaria does not have the facilities to make any analyses of specific products as well as the European Agency for Food Safety itself. That is why the national and European experts have to rely on the researches the importer provides them with. The European Agency has ruled out that the product in question is safe and can be sold on the European market but Bulgaria for now prefers to benefit from its right to refrain. The Bulgarian experts say that there are no clear evidence that the product is totally safe.

The European Affairs Council has also decided to assign 3 ministries with the task to create a mechanism for better coordination so that Bulgaria could faster and easier prepare a position at an early stage. The Ministries, assigned with this task are the Ministry of Environment and Waters, of Agriculture and Foods and of Healthcare. Sometimes, when a position whether a certain product to be allowed on the market is been coordinated on a national level and is being covered by 2 different laws - the Foods Legislation and the GMO legislation. The lack of a reliable coordinating mechanism quite often hinders the preparation of a well motivated position, thus putting at risk the health of people, the Council said after its session.