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You're reading: Farmers, consumers face GMO dilemma
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Thus far, the verdict is still out on whether GMOs are
harmful to human health, though the World Health Organization said this
technology may be potentially hazardous. Traditionally, Ukrainian consumers are
averse to anything that is genetically modified. A December 2012 survey by
R&B market and sociological research center found that 80 percent of consumers
think GMO-based products are harmful, and 68 percent believe a majority of local
agricultural companies apply the technology. But as Iryna Stolyar, head of
public relations at leading agricultural holding Mriya, told the Kyiv Post, “If
this (technology) would be legal, everyone would be using it.”

In October 2013, acting Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk
said that he favors legalizing the usage of GMO-seeds for soy cultivation and
in the future – for corn cultivation. Analysts and market participants say that
GMO-technologies should be legalized. Andriy Kolparkov, managing partner at Da
Vinci analytical group, noted that the current legal framework on the issue is
poor, adding that any new regulations could be put to national or local
referendums since the public is so sensitive to GMO initiatives.

Despite the legal prohibition, genetically modified
soy, rapeseed, corn and sunflowers are widely cultivated in Ukraine, various
sources stated. Seventy percent of soybeans, 10-20 percent of corn and more
than 10 percent of sunflowers are produced with GMO-seeds, according to global
auditing consultancy Deloitte referring to unofficial data. Jean-Jacques Herve,
agricultural board counselor at Credit Agricole Group, said that the percentage
of Ukrainian soy produced with genetically modified seeds may be even greater.

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