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Turkey opens door for use of GM soybeans

Published on 6 February, 2011, Last updated at 20:10 GMT

Turkey -- The Turkish Biosafety Commission has permitted the use of three types of genetically modified soybeans in animal feed, according to the Turkish Animal Feed Producer’s Union, or Türkiyem-Bir.

"This permission is limited to the use of genetically modified soybeans in animal feed," Hakkı Erdoğdu, secretary-general of Türkiyem-Bir, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Friday.

"GM soybeans do not harm the animal products at all," he said, noting that the permission was announced in the country’s official newspaper on Wednesday.

Erdoğdu said Turkey currently imports soybeans from the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, adding that Turkey’s animal production is "insufficient" to meet the increasing demand. "Turkey needs nearly 2 million tons of soybeans annually while the country’s production stays at around 50,000 tons."

Due to the recent issuing of a Biosafety Law, importing GM soy products was banned in Turkey, but the commission has permitted for the first time genetically modified soybeans to be used in animal feed with the decision. According to Erdoğdu, "GM beans will not harm animal products such as meat, milk or eggs."

"There are various reports stating that genetically modified products do not harm animals if they are used as animal feed," he said.


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