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Conference and World Food Day 2017

Current state and risk management in the area of GM food-Ministry of Agriculture perspective

Jelena Đugum¹, Ivica Delić¹, Željka Cegur¹
¹Ministry of Agriculture, Ulica grada Vukovara 78, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

In accordance with required competences of the Act on Genetically Modified Organisms, the Ministry of Agriculture covers the area of reproduction material in agriculture, seed material, plant parts and planting material of forest species and crossbreeds for use in forestry, veterinary medicines, as well as agriculture and veterinary inspections in accordance with the law.

The Republic of Croatia has established a system of market inspection surveillance regarding the presence of GMOs in seed and food. In accordance with the national annual monitoring plan for the presence of genetically modified organisms, seeds samples and seedlings, food and feed are taken. The samples are collected by agricultural, veterinary and sanitary inspections. Samples are collected from the Croatian market, from agricultural areas and at border posts. The samples are delivered to laboratories authorized for official controls in the field of GMOs. There are currently two laboratories in the Republic of Croatia authorized for official controls: the one within Croatian Institute of Public Health and Croatian Centre for Agriculture, Food and Rural affairs.

To date, no approval has been issued for sowing or planting of genetically modified plants for commercial production or for field trials. Likewise, at the moment there are no approved GM foods on the Croatian market. Although there is still no legal possibility for prohibition of GM food to be placed on the market at EU level, there is an obligation to label such products, which guarantees consumer the right of choice.

Furthermore, in June this year, a Program of co-financing analysis of soybean seed for the presence on genetically modified organisms for the period from 2017 to 2020 was adopted with aims to enable the labelling of soybeans seed with label “genetically modified organisms free”. In this way, the primary agricultural producers in a simpler way can choose the soybeans that will provide them production of cultures free off genetically modified organisms.
The implementation of four-year program will ensure the sufficiency of safe and high quality raw materials for domestic livestock and poultry production, the development of soy seed production in the Republic of Croatia, stimulation of soy seed export and placement in numerous EU countries, strengthening of domestic soy selection programs and export of mercantile goods with stable and higher prices.