The Federation of Food and Drink Industry Associations of Turkey (TGDF) announced that it has withdrawn an application to import 29 different kinds of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for food production in view of public opinion and the unfavorable reactions emanating form non-governmental organizations (NGOs.)
The campaign "Yemezler" ("We do not buy it") launched by Greenpeace Mediterranean played a significant role in the TGDF's decision, with some 326,000 people participating in the initiative.
The withdrawal of TGDF's application represents a very significant step in the struggle against GMOs, as 2,000 members are affiliated with the organization, Tarık Nejat Dinç, who is in charge of Greenpeace Mediterranean's Agriculture Campaign, told bianet.
The struggle is not yet over, however, and an application by the Ünak Gıda Company pertaining to three kinds of soy beans still stands, he said.
"If they withdraw this application, the issue of GMOs for food [production] will no longer remain on the agenda," he added.
"Our principal goal is the total prohibition of GMOs for food and animal feed production, or in other words, a [legislative act] that would allow no further applications," he said, adding that Greenpeace would continue waging its struggle until all applications are withdrawn.
"The withdrawal of the applications demonstrate that when the public takes matters into their hands [to realize their own] demands, they can change somethings," Dinç also said.
Greenpeace Mediterranean issued a written statement about the latest development entitled "Türkiye Bayrama Afiyetle Giriyor." ("Turkey Enters the [Ramadan] Holiday in Good Appetite.")
"The ball now lies in the court of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Mehdi Eker, who had announced his opposition to GMOs, to create a Turkey without [such foods,]" the statement said.
The TGDF's application to import 29 kinds of GMOs was set to reach completion on Aug. 22.
"The TGDF calls the Biosecurity Council to live up to its mission to immediately put an end to the confusion and anxiety of the public regarding GMOs, demands that [the authorities] take steps to resolve problems emanating from inevitable contamination and withdraws the application in question,"the TGDF said on Wednesday.
"No decision has been made to import anything. My personal opinion is that I am against it," Minister Eker had previously said. (ÇT)