Rome

Agriculture minister continues battle against GMOs

De Girolamo says Italy should focus on 'uniqueness' of produce

Agriculture minister continues battle against GMOs

Rome, July 4 - The Italian agriculture minister said on Thursday that she will continue the "battle against genetically modified organisms" (GMOs) being used in the country and continue to push for their cultivation to be banned. Speaking at a meeting of the agricultural organization Coldiretti, Nunzia De Girolamo said that her approach to GMOs was "ethical". "I am looking at the market. Italy is known for quality, authenticity and biodiversity. Our excellence is recognized for that very reason," De Girolamo said. "If we use GMOs for cultivation, what difference would there be between a Chinese and Italian tomato?," the minister said. The GMO issue is particularly explosive in Italy. As the second-largest producer of organic crops in Europe and the fourth largest in the world, there is widespread fear of the potential damage resulting from accidental GMO contamination. Coldiretti said in June that nearly eight out of 10, or 76%, of Italians were against GMOs - 14% more compared to a survey from last year. "Agricultural entrepreneurs say no and surveys show opposition (to GMOs). If we start growing homogenous produce we lose what makes us characteristic and will this greatly damage our agricultural sector," De Girolamo said.

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