GMO maize ploughed under throughout Hungary
MTI, 11 July 2011
Some 400 hectares of maize have been destroyed throughout Hungary after the crops were found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, the deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development in charge of supervision of the food supply chain and agricultural administration told MTI on Friday.
GMO maize has been ploughed under near Szigetvar in the southwest, Letavertes in the east, Szolnok in central Hungary and Fejér County in central-western areas, said Lajos Bognar. However, pollen has not spread from the maize, he added.
Authorities have been checking for GMO crops since the beginning of this year as a new regulation came in force this March which stipulates GMO checks before seeds are introduced to the market. The checks will continue despite the fact that seed traders are obliged to make sure that their products are GMO free, Bognar said.
Controllers have found Pioneer and Monsanto products among the seeds planted. The free movement of goods within the EU means that authorities will not investigate how the seeds arrived in Hungary but they will check where the goods can be found, Bognar said.
Regional public radio in Baranya County (SW Hungary) MR6 reported earlier on Friday that the two biggest international seed producing companies are affected in the matter and GMO seeds could have been sown on up to thousands of hectares in the country.
Local farmers complain that the use of GMO seeds has only been revealed now when it is too late to sow again and the entire year's harvest has been lost.
Another problem is that the company that distributed the seeds in Baranya county is under liquidation, therefore if any compensation is paid by the international seed producers, the money will be paid primarily to that company's creditors, rather than the farmers.
Unlike several EU members, GMO seeds are banned in Hungary.