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POLICY & REGULATION: Genetically modified corn seized at Turkish port customs





------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN SEIZED AT PORT CUSTOMS

SOURCE:  Hurriyet, Turkey

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=genetically-modified-corn-seized-at-port-customs-2011-07-05

DATE:    05.07.2011

SUMMARY: "Turkish police have seized some 6,600 tons of genetically modified, or GM, corn from two ships from the Ukraine at the Bandırma port on the Marmara Sea. According to data by the Undersecretariat of Customs, police at customs in the northwestern province of Bursa learned the ?Osama? and ?Volgabolt242,? two ships from Ukraine, were carrying GM corn. Police raided the ships last month upon information that the ships would unload the corn in Bandırma, a town in the northwestern province of Balıkesir and finalize the import procedure there."

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GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN SEIZED AT PORT CUSTOMS

Turkish police have seized some 6,600 tons of genetically modified, or GM, corn from two ships from the Ukraine at the Bandırma port on the Marmara Sea.

According to data by the Undersecretariat of Customs, police at customs in the northwestern province of Bursa learned the ?Osama? and ?Volgabolt242,? two ships from Ukraine, were carrying GM corn. Police raided the ships last month upon information that the ships would unload the corn in Bandırma, a town in the northwestern province of Balıkesir and finalize the import procedure there.

The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, or TÜBİTAK, office which analyzed samples of corn from the two ships confirmed it was GM.

Some 6,600 tons of corn was seized following the analysis report.

The corn was being imported to a firm from Bursa and another from Bandırma, the Anatolia news agency has learned, as the names of the companies were not announced officially.

One of the firms was ?well known,? said an executive from a customs company in Bandırma, who declined to give his name.

A separate port source speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News after the operation said the two ships have been docked at the Bandırma Port for nearly six weeks.

?In the first analysis [of the corn], the samples were found clean,? said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. ?Then, apparently a tip came and the raid started.? The operation could be ?the result of a conflict between rival companies,? said the source, without elaborating.

A further investigation was started around 12 executives from the import companies and two officials from Balıkesir agriculture office who undersigned an earlier report claiming that the corn was not GM, according to data gathered by the Anatolia news agency.

A 2010 law on genetically modified organism production bans imports, usage and trade of GM seeds. The bio-safety law allows the usage of three GM soy genes as animal feed.

Customs officials have called on citizens to report any similar activity.

The law also regulates research, development, process, marketing, usage, imports, exports, transportation, storage, packaging and labeling conditions of GM products.