There were hard debates on the GMO at the conference of Agrárszektor 2016. Policy and science clashed through serious arguments and counter-arguments. One thing is for sure: the prohibition of the agricultural use of GMO will not get out of the constitution for a long time, reports agrarszektor.hu.
Zoltán Bene, president of Karintia Kft., examined the Hungarian soy production in his opening talk. He said that 333 million tons of soy grew all around the world and only 5 million of it is validly GMO-free – and this can be a serious weapon in Hungary where only GMO-free soy can be grown. As Bene said:
“GMO-free, excellent quality Hungarian soy is welcomed in western-Europe.”
The soy growing territory of our country is the 5th in the EU, 61,000 hectare – the fact that the plant can be grown in such a large amount is partly due to the supports regarding the crop.
At the same time, the sowing area is facing a large increase in 2017: it can be seen from the circulation numbers that interests for the sowing-seed are extremely high again, this way the soy-growing fields can increase even above 80,000 hectare. If there is some luck with the weather, and it will not discourage the farmers, then the surface of the sowing area can be nearly 100,000 hectare by 2019.
Clashing point: is GMO a blessing or a curse?
After the presentation a fervid debate developed on GMO-freedom. According to Dénes Dudits, member of Hungarian Academy of Sciences, it can be expected that the genome control system will take over the role of production. The breeder have been crossing those boundaries for a long time and use the genetic processes taking place in nature. The transition of the genes actually takes place in the nature.
“We can be an isolated isle in the world, we can advertise a GMO-free conception, but it is not guaranteed that it means an advantage in the competition for Hungary”
– said the expert.
It was also added: the GMO debate is already a thing of the past, it cannot be regulated with political tools.
However, Sándor Font (Fidesz), president of Committee of Agriculture thinks that gene technology brings up some serious moral and ethical questions. As he said, it is a 20-30 years old discipline, which means that the consequences of gene manipulation are not known yet.
According to the politician, the Hungarian politicians always thought it to be a chance to break out, an economic advantage, that we can introduce ourselves as a GMO-free country – the amendment of The Fundamental Law means an end of the process.
Sándor Font technically rejected the possible change of the passage of The Fundamental Law regarding this.
Concerning the future of the topic, it is an important question: what will be the result of the debate between the USA and Europe? Hungary and Austria have been against GMO for years, but while we only grow GMO-free plants, there are import ingredients – such as soy – that arrive already significantly gene-manipulated. However, the present situation means an advantage for the farmers, as they can put good quality, demanded, and GMO-free soy onto the international market.
Copy editor: bm
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