Transgenics: Work group proposes labeling and licensing of laboratories

03/04/2003 - 23h08

Brasília, April 4, 2003 (Agência Brasil - ABr) - The interministerial group in charge of discussing the question of transgenics will propose a decree to label food products that are the result of genetically modified organisms. The work group will also send a suggestion to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for public and private laboratories to be licensed to conduct quality examinations. According to the Executive-Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, José Amauri Dimarzio, there is an expectation that, beginning next week, the process of licensing and training in laboratories will get underway.

Government organs will perform the tests for free, but Dimarzio calculates that they are only capable of meeting 10-15% of the demand. Given this situation, tests in government laboratories should be programmed, as a matter of priority, for small family farmers. "Small agricultural producers should seek out the cooperatives and government laboratories - those that are run by Embrapa, Conab, and the Ministry - where they will be assisted," he said. Dimarzio recalled that all farmers should test their products, "especially" the farmers who planted supposedly normal soybeans. (DAS)