On March 16th 2012, a coalition of three Romanian NGOs (the Information Center on Genetically Modified Organisms – InfOMG, the Independent Center for the Development of Environmental Resources and Re.Generation) organised a rally in front on the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on the “Global Actions against Monsanto” Day to protest against the recent appointment of Mr Stelian Fuia as a Minister of Agriculture.
Mr Fuia has a track record as a high level Monsanto employee, working for the company from 1995 until 2002 when he left it from the position of Country Commercial Manager.
The protest was abruptly stopped by the Gendarmerie, with official sources stating that the protesters didn’t have any authorization for a public rally.
In Romania, the legislation concerning GMOs can be hard to understand: At this time there are 27 laws regulating this field, making Romania the EU Member State with the highest number of laws. Many were introduced in order to supplement gaps in previous regulations.
Since the Romanian EU accession in 2007, the value of GMO crops fluctuated. GMO soy bean was banned in 2007 while in 2006 it accounted for more than 130 thousands hectares (137.275,5) of cultivated arable land. Since 2007, the only GMO crop authorized for cultivation in Romania is the MON810 Corn of Monsanto with fluctuating values in regards of arable lands use. For example, while in 2007 only 330 hectares were cultivated with the GMO MON810 corn, in 2008 this increased to over 6000 hectares. After 2008, the number of hectares cultivated yearly were 3243 hectares in 2009, 822 hectares in 2010) and 588 hectares 2011. (All statistics taken from http://www.infomg.ro/)
The anti-GMO movement in Romania is very strong, even before the EU accession. The main concerns raised by environmental NGOs being the impact that GMOs might have on human health and conventional crops with which GMOs come into contact.
Find more information (in Romanian) here http://www.infomg.ro/web/ro/Home/Stiri/3/1555