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6-Reglation: Albania voted for a 5-year-ban on GMOs



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TITLE:  CAMPAIGN WINS TEMPORARY BAN ON GMOS
SOURCE: Masmedia and Environment Association, Albania, by Raimonda
Sallaku Nelku
DATE:   June 2003

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CAMPAIGN WINS TEMPORARY BAN ON GMOS

Tirana, June 2003 - A parliamentary commission voted for a five-year ban
on imports into Albania of genetically modified products, and ordered the
environmental ministry to prepare a legal framework on such goods.

The issue has stirred debate in the Albanian media about whether the
country should open its doors to genetically modified organisms, or
"GMOs." The arguments began when officials from the Albanian Food
Ministry negotiated to open the market to genetically modification
soybean and corn. The Organic Agricultural Association began a public-
education campaign in conjunction with 24 environmental associations and
45 scientists to explain what genetically modified organisms are and why
they should not be allowed onto the market.

Protestors also exerted pressure on the Albanian Parliament, suggesting
the changing of an article in the draft law about the protection of
biodiversity.

Lavdosh Ferruni, head of the Organic Agricultural Association, said the
Parliamentary Commission for Food approved a change to Article 31 in the
biodiversity protection bill. Now it includes a paragraph stating that
"Importation and introduction of GMOs are banned from entering Albania
for a period of five years," Ferruni said.

The commission ordered that during this time the environment ministry
must prepare a framework law on GMOs. The director for biodiversity
protection at the environment ministry, Zamir Dedej, confirmed that a
draft law for GMOs had been prepared by the Environment Ministry.

That statute will permit the presence, importation or introduction of
GMOs only after a scientific study has been conducted to evaluate the
given product's risk and impacts on the environment. These studies will
determine the parameters of any license given by the environment
ministry, Dedej said.

Through Dedej credited the GMO campaign for its positive result, he noted
that the protestors didn't propose steps to implement the ban or suggest
an institution to enforce it.




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