Deputies from the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on European Affairs met this evening after plenary to discuss the Agriculture Minister’s position at the upcoming EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 11 and 12 December. One of the points of this council in Brussels will be the project for regulation for new genomic techniques.
At the regular meeting of the government on Wednesday, December 6, it was decided that Minister Kiril Vatev would support the regulation. This prompted non-governmental organizations to hold a press conference today in which they spoke out against our state’s support for the implementation of new genomic techniques. Before noon, ITN also raised the alarm about the decision of the Council of Ministers to agree to the controversial project and declared against it.
Later this afternoon, at an emergency meeting, the government decided that the Bulgarian Minister of Agriculture would vote “abstain” during the discussion of the draft regulation on Monday.
Today’s meeting of the two commissions began with a speech by the co-chairman of PP-DB Kiril Petkov, who praised the government for the changed position. Rosen Kosturkov requested that next week the two commissions hold a meeting with experts on the subject of genetic engineering to understand what is hidden behind the concept of “new genomic techniques”. Desislava Taneva supported the proposal, adding that the deputies should familiarize themselves with the texts of the draft regulation.
BSP MP Dragomir Stoynev was angry that the government did not inform the parliament of the draft regulation and that the topic was not discussed with MPs and experts. He called the gathering a “circus.” He quotes statements by ecologists and organic producers who are firmly against the possibility of applying genomic techniques in Bulgaria. Ivan Ivanov drew attention to the fact that in the Strategic Plan, high support for organic producers is specified precisely because we want the native production of agricultural products to be branded as organic.
Prof. Hristo Daskalov stated that none of the assembled deputies understood genetics and the techniques it applies. He said they are cutting edge scientific advances and have nothing to do with GMOs. He found this out after talking with our famous Academician Atanas Atanasov. From him he learned that it is a matter of natural natural processes that genetics can speed up.
Experts on the subject will be invited to a meeting in the parliament next week.
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