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REGULATION / AGROFUELS: GM ban could land Cyprus in hot water

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  GM ban could land Cyprus in hot water
SOURCE: Cyprus Mail, Cyprus
AUTHOR: Jacqueline Theodoulou
DATE:   16.05.2007

GM ban could land Cyprus in hot water

CYPRUS' refusal to conform to EU directives over the importation of
biofuels has not gone unnoticed by the EU, which has already delayed
sanctioning the island over the matter. The House Environment Committee
yesterday held an extraordinary meeting to examine why President Tassos
Papadopoulos had referred a law, which was voted by Parliament and
banned the importation and cultivation of genetically modified plants
that produce biofuels. The chairman of the committee, AKEL's Yiannos
Lamaris, said the parties would position themselves before the Plenum on
Papadopoulos' decision to refer the law. "For Cyprus, there are a number
of reasons that advocate it being pronounced a GM-free zone," Lamaris
explained after the meeting. "Cyprus is a small country, with small
agricultural land plots, with frequent seasonal winds that can easily
spread germs and anything else that can affect cultivations." But DIKO
deputy Nicolas Papadopoulos pointed out an oddity: on one hand it was
allowed to import GM products, and on the other "we are banning the
importation of biofuels made from GM foods." He said: "Cyprus is the
first country of all the countries in the EU, which at the moment is
facing sanction proceedings due to its non-compliance with the relevant
EU directive regarding biofuels." Green Party leader Giorgos Perdikis
said Parliament should insist on the relevant law and despite the
dangers, be condemned by the European court. He pointed out that other
countries had acted in the same way, such as Greece, Italy and Poland,
while he suggested biofuels could be extracted from normal plants and
without the use of GM products. The matter will be discussed tomorrow
during the weekly Plenum session.

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