GMO may become a necessity for Kazakhstan 09 августа 2012, 12:33
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Genetically modified products may become a necessity for Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports citing Director General of Kazakhstan National Biotechnologies Center Yerlan Ramankulov.
According to him, the possibility of a negative effect of use of GMO (genetically modified organisms) is important and should be considered. “There are currently no confirmed facts of any negative effect of GMO use on people’s health. But despite of that, it is necessary to keep rational precautions towards GMO, as it is still impossible to estimate the remote risks,” Ramankulov said. He added that no types of GMO are officially registered in Kazakhstan, but, according to him, genetically modified goods are already supplied to Kazakhstan and their flow increases every year.
“However, it is necessary to remember that our climate is changing amid the global warming; the rainfalls will shrink and the areas of dry lands will expand. GMO may become a necessity in such conditions. That’s why breeding drought-resistant GM-cultures may save Kazakhstan’s crop production,” Ramankulov said. “I am not campaigning for or against GMO, I stand for an objective approach to this issue,” the expert said. He added that use of the gene engineering in non-edible plants will be a rational solution. National Biotechnologies Center was working on creation of transgenic cotton.
President of Kazakhstan National Consumers League Svetlana Romanovskaya has a different opinion. She stands against bringing transgenic foods into Kazakhstan. “In the context of the country’s security, we shouldn't use GMO, breed and produce GMO-containing goods, but the state has to control this sector,” she said. The expert noted that producers of such goods have to bear responsibility for informing the consumers who have a right to make a conscious choice.
Romanovskaya believes that Kazakhstan needs to perform its own researches on safety of GMO. According to her, Kazakhstan currently has only one private laboratory capable of identify transgenic products. As for the crops, the expert noted that Kazakhstan wheat is highly valued around the world first of all for its purity. That’s why is has a high export value.
The expert reminded that Kazakhstan is working on the draft law on gene engineering and Romanovskaya is a member of the work group. Earlier chairman of Majilis Commission for Socio-Cultural Development Dariga Nazarbayeva talked about the necessity of this document.
By Dmitriy Khegai