Serbia required "to change GM food trade laws"

Serbian Minister of Trade Rasim Ljajić said on Tuesday that Serbia is in the final phase of accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Source: Tanjug

"No one requests from us to enable the production of genetically modified (GM) foods," Ljajić said, underlining that "no conditions are being attached to Serbia's membership other than those that all aspirant countries had to meet".

As Ljajić specified, what is being required from Serbia was "the change of the law's provisions related to the trade in GM foods". He stressed that "all countries have a possibility to resolve the issue in line with their own interests, and they had at their disposal measures for curbing and controlling the trade in these products".

Apart from changes to the law on GM foods, the other set of issues that Serbia has to solve before its entry into the WTO are bilateral problems, i.e. talks with Panama, Brazil, the U.S. and Ukraine, in relation to the trade in certain agricultural products, Ljajić said at a conference dedicated to boosting Serbia's food exports.

Ljajić recalled that the WTO has 157 member states, and that two countries will join the organization by the end of the year, and Serbia will remain in the company of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Belarus and others.

He said that "the dilemma over the production of GM foods in Serbia as a condition for acceding to the WTO is being set up as a false dilemma", and that "an expert debate will be held on all relevant issues".

Ljajić stressed that "our interest is to become a member of the WTO, as that would show that Serbia adheres to all standards and mechanisms of the free market, from which we will have direct financial benefit after the arrival of investors".

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