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ECONOMICS > Turks refusing to eat GM food, poll reveals

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Greenpeace activists protests a change in legislation regarding genetically modified
organisms in front of the Ministry of Agriculture in this file photo. DHA photo

Greenpeace activists protests a change in legislation regarding genetically modified organisms in front of the Ministry of Agriculture in this file photo. DHA photo

Some 83 percent of Turkish people are against consuming food from genetically modified (GM) organisms, according to a survey by Greenpeace.

Some 82.3 percent of the population has some knowledge about GMs, said the survey conducted by 4,860 people.

Nejat Dinç, the man in charge of Greenpeace’s Mediterranean Agriculture Campaign, told Radikal that Turkish citizens know well about GM food despite a common prejudice suggesting the opposite.

Nearly 80 percent of participants said their confidence in a food company would drop if the company used GM products, while 60 percent said they would not buy the products of a company that produces GM food.

The questions addressed both directly modified food, which is forbidden in Turkey, and the products of animals fed with GM materials.

The Greenpeace survey was conducted in 42 provinces across Turkey.

The Agriculture Ministry is working on a labeling system that will mark food from GM-fed animals.

Some 60 percent of the participants in the Greenpeace survey said this would increase their outlook on “the government’s sincerity on food security.”

The survey has shown that citizens demand appropriate labeling on meat, milk and eggs from animals fed by GM products, Dinç said. Figures indicate that belief in Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Mehdi Eker’s sincerity about food security will improve with such labeling.

However, 72.8 percent of those surveyed said they were not satisfied with the current inspections on GM food.

“The lack of inspections by official institutions is a long-bleeding wound. This applies to the food issue also and the situation is even worse in the sector. Thus, people do not trust that the food, agriculture and livestock minister is implementing enough inspections on the GM issue or is capable of doing so,” Dinç said, adding that it is impossible to inspect GM products once they enter the system.

July/09/2012

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Brit in Turkey

7/9/2012 5:32:51 PM

@Roger Rabbit - The big tomatoes are the sweetest, they may just not look so nice. The problem with GM food and pesticides is that we do not know that we are eating them until we are dead.

mara mcglothin

7/9/2012 3:53:37 PM

Turks can't even go out without a jacket if there is a breeze blowing because it will make them ill. Why does it come as a surprise to anyone that they would not want to eat genetically altered food? Who would? You forgot little sweet cucumbers as well ROGER RABBIT. Also, with the system of oversight and inspection in Turkey, I am not optimistic about the food supply whether it is genetic or just bombed with the wrong kind of pesiticies etc. The list goes on and on.

Tayyar Abi

7/9/2012 1:56:14 PM

I would like to know why I can't find delicious little strawberries anymore like when I was a child instead of these giant tasteless piles of junk. Same goes for tomatoes and a lot of other things. This isn't only in Turkey but all over the world. Big agrabusiness has destroyed the fresh food supply. Plenty of junk food availible though.

Faruk Beisser

7/9/2012 2:15:28 AM

How can one expect Eker to do the controls properly, when he himself has a large food production firm?
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