Nearly one thousand acres of genetically modified corn discovered growing throughout parts of Hungary were destroyed earlier this month, according to the deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development, Lajos Bognar.
The GMO seeds—brought into the country by a now bankrupt distributor in Baranya county—may have cost Hungarian farmers thousands of dollars in the destroyed crops ploughed under by the government, with at least another 6,000 acres reportedly contaminated and scheduled to be destroyed, according to Bognar.
At a press conference last week in Budapest, Bognar announced that the government would be introducing an amendment to Hungary’s penal code that would make any distribution of GMO seeds within the country a felony offense.
With a zero tolerance policy for Monsanto and other GMO seed manufacturers, Hungary introduced a regulation back in March that calls for all seeds coming into the country to be inspected for contamination with genetic modification before being allowed into distribution. Traders are already required to ensure that the seeds they import are non-GMO, but in light of the recent contamination, federal inspections are likely to continue.
The European Union’s Member States have had a strict policy on GMOs, which stipulates that any genetically modified organisms must receive authorization before entering the market, but Wikileaks documents released earlier this year showed that a number of high level officials in several EU countries were repeatedly pressured by biotech industries and members of the U.S. government to consider lifting bans on a number of GM crops.
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Photo: Crisis Boom