YEREVAN—Armenia’s Agriculture Minister, Ignati Arakelyan, presided over a meeting of a working group established to ensure bio safety in the agriculture section, including the use of genetically modified organisms, commonly known as GMOs.
Last month, the US Embassy in Yerevan organized a conference for the agriculture sector and introduced representatives of two American companies, Valmont and Monsanto, the latter being the largest producer of GMOs. This alarmed activists both in Armenia and the Diaspora to oppose the introduction of GMOs in Armenia and to reject genetically engineered crops.
To comply with European standards, Armenia has signed an agreement prohibiting the use of GMOs. Those attending the conference on Monday that the legislative regulation of the use of GMOs will be guided by “the principle of precaution,” given that science has not yet determined the GMOs safety and thus Armenia must prohibit their use.
Arakelyan instructed the working group to study the original version of the law on the biosafety of the use of GMOs in Armenia to provide diverse opinions within two weeks.
Debate about the use of GMOs in Armenia erupted after the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan organized a business conference to connect Armenian companies involved in the agricultural sector with the expertise, products, and technology of U.S. companies Valmont and Monsanto.