GMOs in Bulgaria 2017
Political and economic situation in terms of GMO
The draft of Food Law passed through long discussions and preparation and in July 2016 was adopted by the Ministry council. The achievement we got thanks to lobby work by Agrolink and Za Zemiata is that in the law there is a special articles about GMO labeling. During the meetings and discussion the working groups agreed that GMO issues related to labeling will be a sub law legislation, Ordinance. In November 2016 after presidential election the prime minister Boris Borisov resigned following the defeat of Tsetska Tsacheva, the candidate of his GERB party. Parliamentary elections were held in Bulgaria on 26 March 2017. They had originally been scheduled for 2018 at the end of the four-year term of the National Assembly. However, following the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the failure of Bulgarian parties to form a government, early elections were called. The official election campaign began on 24 February. GERB won a plurality, with 95 of the 240 seats. Borisov remained as Prime Minister after negotiating a governing coalition. One of the most import roles for the trading and implementation of GM food and feed are supermarkets and big processors, traders and farmers (for feed). At the moment the most important is to convince this business according to the expectation of consumers and civil society. In the Bulgaria the strong resistance of the society to GMO is the only safeguard of GMO free Bulgaria.
In 1999, Bulgarian farmers produced the first harvest of maize, herbicide-tolerant. Most of the corn was given to animal feed and thus enter the food chain. While the official position is that Bulgaria takes only trial of GM maize seed catalog for Monsanto and Pioneer still advertised in 2000, GM maize. According to the MAF permits for GM maize in 1999 were about 130,000 acres in 2000 to 190,000 ha in 2001 to 64,000 in 2002 to 22,000 in 2003 to 21,195 acres. Monsanto had been authorized by the Council for handling genetically modified higher plants for these large field trials, provided that production is exported from the country. But many manufacturers did not know about this and gave it to their animals or sold to "Amylum" - plant starch and other corn products in Razgrad. The reduction of area after 2000 is due to Belgian company scandal and failure it has its products contaminated with GM maize in the European market. Since then Amylum is required to analyze each of your foreign account for the presence of GMOs in their products, which increases the cost of its products too.
In 1999 300 acres were first produced GM potatoes resistant to Colorado beetle. No information how field trials with sunflower and tobacco. In 1997 Academician Atanassov (Director AgroBioInstitute - the new name of the Institute of Genetic Engineering) and a major advocate of genetic engineering, told the media that Bulgaria tobacco will be commercialized in 1998. In response to major buyers of Bulgarian tobacco Philip Morris, British American Tobakou Reetsma and threatened to stop buying tobacco if the country produced GM tobacco.
Access to information on the cultivation of GM plants from official sources is almost impossible to obtain. But without all the production information in Bulgaria is in doubt. Clearly the lesson of history with tobacco is not scientific, as the failure of GM maize.
In spring 2005 the Bulgarian Parliament passed a law on GMOs. Future developments in GM now depends on the application of the law.