Turkey Not to Import GM Organisms

Aug 17, 2012 05:58 AM EDT | By Sharon Robinson

The United States of America is not the only place where the people are vocal about not wanting genetically modified food on their plates. Turkey has just the joined the ranks of the nations against GM food.

Thanks to popular demand from the people, Turkey will be putting a stop to plans to import 29 different genetically modified organisms (GMO). These were to be put to use by the Turkish food and beverage industry, the TGDF.

The import was set to be completed August 22.

The campaign, called 'Yemezler', against the import of GMO was launched by the Greenpeace Mediterranean. Its campaign inspired around 326,000 people to vote against the introduction of GM food into the food supply.

According to Food Navigator, Tarik Dinc, who led the Greenpeace campaign, and other supporters, used social media to the fullest to mobilize the public to discourage the import of GMO.

A poll conducted in the month of July revealed that around 83 percent of the Turkish populace would not like to eat GM food.  This poll was conducted across 42 provinces and over 4,500 people participated in it.

'Yemezler', or the 'We do not Buy' campaign, backed by Greenpeace, caught the attention of other media in Turkey, and gained widespread popularity. The Federation of Food and Drink Industry Associations succumbed to the pressure and withdrew the plans to import GMO.

GM Labeling

The Greenpeace Mediterranean has also convinced the TGDF to label those animal products which have been derived from GM animals, and those fed with GM material feed. The Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister, Mehdi Eker has promised to introduce labeling of such products soon.Labeling of GM food is mandatory in all countries in the European Union and some Asian countries as well. Turkey may soon follow suit, if the TGDF upholds its promises.

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