GM food production ban proposed

VietNamNet Bridge – Government agencies have agreed on a proposed ban on the production of genetically-modified (GM) food as one of the business fields suggested for prohibition in draft amendments to the Investment Law and the Enterprise Law to be sent to the National Assembly at its eighth sitting later this year.



GM food, GM food production, ban

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has recently allowed using GM corn for food and is taking some final steps to realize mass cultivation.

Nguyen Quoc Binh, deputy director of the HCMC Biotechnology Center, said Vietnam will go against the world’s scientific advancement if the country bans production of GM food.

“GM crops are an astounding scientific achievement. Vietnam is developing toward the market-oriented economy but it is now considering imposing a ban on GM food production. In other words, the country could be left far behind the common development trend of the world,” Binh added.

The ban on production of GM food will also go against the Biodiversity Law, certain decrees on food safety and GM animals, and the strategy for applying biotechnology to agriculture, said a senior executive of Dekalb Vietnam Company.

Nguyen Ngoc De from College of Rural Development under Can Tho University said there are two movements with conflicting opinions about GM crops.

The advocates led by the U.S. regard GM crops as a significant scientific development with an effort to address food security problems given the rising global population while the other movement mainly supported by the European Union is worried that these crops may pose a threat to human health.

Vietnam has yet to legalize mass cultivation of GM crops but the country in fact has imported a large volume of GM food such as corn and soybean to make animal feed, De added.

However, De was not actually in favor of growing GM crops, fearing that it would have a profound impact on the national export of agricultural products to certain countries that strongly oppose GM crops, especially the EU.

Pham Van Quynh, director of Can Tho City’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said further research should be done before legalizing GM crops.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has approved the use of four strains of GM corn to produce food for humans and feed for livestock, including BT11 and MIR62 of Syngenta Vietnam Co. Ltd., and MON 89034 and NK603 of Dekalb Vietnam Co. Ltd. under Monsanto Group.

However, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment still has not granted Certificates of Biosafety for these GM corns for mass cultivation.

Over the past several years, scientists in Vietnam are divided into two groups. One is in favor of GM crops while the other wants the Government to exercise prudence.

Despite a number of mixed opinions, the agriculture ministry still gave the nod to testing certain strains of GM corn and will facilitate mass cultivation in the coming time.

SGT/VNN

GM food, GM food production, ban
 
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