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Romania's incoming agriculture minister slammed for GM links
by Staff Writers
Bucharest (AFP) Feb 8, 2012

A coalition of 70 environmental rights groups on Wednesday asked for Romania's incoming agriculture minister to be replaced because of his links to the genetically-modified (GM) crop industry.

"We consider that Stelian Fuia's objectivity is already compromised and that he cannot fulfill the function of agriculture minister in the public interest", the NGOS, including WWF, said in a statement.

"Our main reason of concern is the long career Mr Fuia had in the Monsanto group, the biggest genetically-modified food producer in the world", they added.

They asked incoming prime minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu to find another candidate for the post, adding that "GM food has negative effects on human health and on the ecosystems."

Ungureanu, the head of Romania's intelligence agency named prime minister after Emile Boc resigned in the face of protests, will try to win approval for his new government on Thursday in parliament.

Fuia worked for seven years for the Monsanto group, occupying the post of commercial director for Romania between 1999 and 2002.

According to a survey published by Greenpeace in 2011, 74 percent of Romanians are against GM food.

Just two GM crops are currently authorised in the EU-- a maize strain for animal feed and a potato for paper-making. Seven states -- Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg -- have banned Monsanto maize cultivation.

In January, the world's top chemicals firm, Germany's BASF, halted the development of new genetically-modified products for the European market citing the "lack of acceptance for this technology in many parts of Europe, from the majority of consumers".

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