In pursuance of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine’s assignment as of 2 January 2013 No 36/0/2-13 the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine considered the appeal of the European Business Association (hereinafter “the Association”) prepared in cooperation with the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine and in its letter No 2002/06/10-13 as of 06.02.2013 found inappropriate the adoption of the “Procedure of disposal, elimination and neutralization of controlled GMO material obtained during tests; inapplicable or banned GMOs, and their packing.” (hereinafter Draft Procedure) before amending the Law of Ukraine provisions “On the State System of Biosafety in Creating, Testing, Transporting and Using Genetically Modified Organisms” (hereinafter the Law on Biosafety) in the part of disposal, destruction and neutralization of GMOs.
Background: According to the Article 17 of the Law on Biosafety disposal, the elimination and neutralisation of controlled GMO material obtained during tests; inapplicable or banned GMOs and their packing is executed in accordance with the procedure established by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Ukraine and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine. In this regard, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine has developed the Draft Procedure and held its discussion with the public.
On 16 October 2012 the Association appealed to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources on inexpediency of Draft Procedure adoption to resolve a number of other timely issues in the field of legislation on Biosafety. According to the Association it is more reasonable to settle down the issue of GMOs state registration that remains unresolved since the adoption of the Law on Biosafety in 2007. The issue of disposal, elimination and neutralisation of controlled GMO material that has not undergone state registration shall be resolved only with state registration procedure implemented without inflicting harm to businesses and agriculture of Ukraine as a whole. It has also been shown in some contradictions and discrepancies occurred between the current Draft Procedure and the Law on Biosafety.
As a result of the abovementioned appeal, the Association has consulted the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine’s experts and other stakeholders.
Following the discussion on 21 December 2012 yet another appeal to the Government of Ukraine was elaborated. The Association asked the policymakers to refrain from adopting any regulations that provide the destruction of GMOs until the Ukrainian law regulates the threshold level of random presence of GMOs in products, and charge the respective authorities with developing and amending existing legislation.
The Association pays compliments to the decision of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources which made withdrawal of the Draft Procedure possible and demonstrates its readiness to continue providing professional expertise on issues related to the legal settlement of a random level presence of GMOs in products.