Not a single permit to grow genetically modified plants in Lithuania issued2007-04-06
Today, on the 6th of April, the Ministry of Environment adopted a decision not to issue the permit to grow genetically modified maze for field tests in Lithuania. The Swedish company Monstanto applied for such permit in January this year. It filed an application to grow genetically modified maize for research purposes in the Agricultural Institute in Kėdainiai Region.
This is the third application received in Lithuania to date to conduct field tests on genetically modified plants. The first such application came in January this year from German PLANTON GmbH. It intended to grow genetically modified potatoes for research purposes at the Vokė branch of the Agricultural Institute. The German company BASF Plant Science GmbH last October requested permission to grow genetically modified summer rape for testing purposes at the Vėžaičiai branch of the Agricultural Institute. In none of these cases did the Ministry of Environment issue a permit.
According to the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment Aleksandras Spruogis, applications are examined in the light of the factors of potential environmental impacts and of impacts on human and animal health, recommendations of the Supervisory Committee for the Management of Genetically Modified Organisms, which operates on public grounds and has an advisory vote, conclusions from the ministries of Health and Agriculture, as prescribed by the Law on Genetically Modified Organisms, as well as the opinion of the society.
In EU countries field tests are currently conducted on 66 species of genetically modified plants. Growing them for research purposes is permitted also in some of our neighbouring states. Latvia, for instance, gave a green light to grow genetically modified maize and rape, whereas Poland satisfied six applications for field testing of such plants.
Public Information Division, Tel. 266 3660
6 April 2007