Importers may set GMO barrier against VN's exports, experts worry

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese associations have warned their members that import countries may prevent the GMO (genetically modified organisms) exports from Vietnam, which is considered a technical barrier like the antibiotics residue one.



GMO barrier, rice export, exporter, vo tong xuan




Prof Vo Tong Xuan, who is considered the Vietnamese leading rice expert, said foreign importers have become taken more cautious when importing farm produce, while they have warned Vietnamese enterprises against the export of GMOs.

Xuan said that the Europe, Japan and some other markets have always been refusing GMOs, and that if Vietnamese enterprises cannot control the quality of the input materials, they would accidentally export GMOs to the choosy markets. If so, the markets would make the decisions to close the doors to the Vietnamese exports.

Producers told to keep harsh control over input materials

Xuan said the European markets are planning examining GMOs in import products, especially in seafood. One year ago, Japanese mass media reported that GMO was found in the rice noodle sourced from a Vietnamese company. Meanwhile, more and more markets are believed to protest the use of genetically modified products.

Experts have warned that the Vietnamese animal feed market would be jumbled up when Vietnam opens its market to the world under the WTO commitments. The massive imports would make Vietnamese farmers puzzled in choosing feed for farming. And they may accidentally choose the products with GMOs.

They have also warned that Vietnam should take caution with the plan to grow GMOs domestically, because this could be a threat to the farm produce export. The biggest importers of Vietnamese farm produce are from Japan and Europe who don’t want GMOs.

Meanwhile, Pham Duc Binh, Deputy Chair of the Vietnam Livestock Feed Association, said the feed for the aquaculture has been mostly imported from North and South of America, where genetically modified plants have been growing in a large scale.

Lam Anh Tuan, Director of Thinh Phat Food Company ltd, said Vietnam does not have GMO rice variety, which means that Vietnam will not have GMO rice or GMO rice-made products. However, Vietnamese exporters still should keep cautious with the input sources, as more and more importers have set the requirements on non-GMO products.

Vietnam considers setting up GMO examination mechanism

Truong Dinh Hoe, Secretary General of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said though no GMO barrier has been officially set up, Vietnam still needs to apply necessary measures to control its export products’ quality as the importers have voiced their warnings.

VASEP has advised its member companies to strictly control the input materials and sign the contracts with the partners on buying non-GMO feed.

Meanwhile, Xuan has urged the government to set up a mechanism which allows to strictly control the GMOs and mark off the GMO plant growing areas into zones. It is also necessary to force producers label GMO products.

Xuan said that only when Vietnam can master the technologies will the import markets accept Vietnamese GMO food, and only when farmers can take initiative in the production management, should they think of developing GMO products.

Vietnam plans to put GMO plants into production in a large scale from 2015.

PL TPHCM

GMO barrier, rice export, exporter, vo tong xuan
 
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