„The application of scientific achievements such as new genomic techniques should not lead to a compromise with high safety standards in terms of human and animal health and the impact on the environment“, said the Minister of Agriculture and Food Kiril Vatev at a meeting of the EU Council on Agriculture and Fisheries in Brussels during a debate on the draft Regulation on plants obtained by certain new genomic techniques and food and feed from them.
“It is important for us that the draft Regulation offers long-lasting solutions”, stressed Minister Vatev. He pointed out that it is necessary to continue discussions on the coexistence of the products of new genomic techniques with conventional and organic agriculture and biodiversity conservation. We need equal access to the gene pool for selection activities and no patent restrictions.
Within the framework of the Council, Minister Vatev met with the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands Piet Adema. At the meeting, Minister Vatev emphasized that given the climate changes and the transition to sustainable production, it is necessary to look for new solutions. He also highlighted the long-standing good cooperation and friendly relations between the Dutch Wageningen University and the Bulgarian Agricultural Academy.
The two ministers discussed the imports of Ukrainian agricultural produce in the EU at the meeting. Vatev presented the situation with Ukrainian imports in Bulgaria, noting the importance of competition happening in equal conditions. He added that this year is a turning point for Bulgarian farmers, because of the drought and the increased prices of fertilizers and preparations. "The most important thing about competition is to be on a level playing field," he stressed.
Concerning reducing waste in agriculture and food, Minister Vatev presented the activities of the Bulgarian Food Bank and its actions for the utilization of surplus food and its timely redistribution to people in need.