Genetically modified soy illegally in Republic of Srpska
Banja Luka - 15 November 2016
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republic of Srpska in July 2016 conducted monitoring for presence of genetically modified soy crops in five regional units: Prijedor, Banja Luka, Gradiška, Doboj and Bijeljina, all of the units where according to official information soy is cultivated. Based on the Law on GMOs of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Srpska, cultivation of GM crops is not approved.
From 183 analyzed samples, 15 or 8.20% were positive for the presence of genetical modification. From 356 analyzed hectars, on 12 or 3.34% genetically modified soy is cultivated. GM soy was found in the municipalities Šamac, Pelagićevo and Donji Žabar.
First monitoring for the presence of GM soy crops in Republic of Srpska was conducted in 2015 and from 272 analyzed samples 123 or 45.22% were positive, and from 580 analyzed hectars, on 104.4 or 18% GM soy is cultivated. GM crops were destroyed based on the decision of Inspectorate of Republic of Srpska, and farmers declared that they haven’t found the seed in registered retail stores, but that they planted mercantile soy, purchased in different ways.
Although it seems that measures and education carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management toward soy producers during the winter 2015/2016 had good results, because the percentage of analyzes samples and areas positive for the presence of GM soy is much lower than in 2015, these results have to be analyzed with a caution. It is obvious that total number of analyzed samples and areas in July 2016 is much lower than the total number in 2015. Also, total area with cultivated soy in Republic of Srpska is around 5000 hectars, so percentage of controled areas is not sufficient.
Anyway, we welcome the measurements of the Ministry to detect ilegal GM soy crops and to educate agricultural producers about potential dangers of GMO crops and legislative in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Srpska. However, all the levels in Bosnia and Herzegovina and competent inspections, in colaboration with organizations that work on this topic have to make much more efforts to raise public and producers awareness about this issue and to sanction those who break the law.