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Turkey bans imports of GM grains

The Turkish Supreme Court has reimposed an import ban on the import of the genetically modified maize product MON810.

This is the latest development in Turkey’s efforts to restrict genetically modified (GM) products. In 2010, the Turkish government enacted a biosafety law, banning the cultivation and import of biotech crops for food and feed use unless approved by the Ministry of Agriculture. In 2013, approval was suspended for products containing the GM maize MON810, effectively banning imports. This notably impacted shipments of Distillers Dried Grain with Solubles (DDGS) from the United States.

This ban was reversed by the Turkish High Court in 2015. However, the Supreme Court decision, announced in December 2022, now reimposes the prohibition of importing corn and other products containing MON810.

Club correspondents in Turkey, Vitsan advise that vessels carrying DDGS cargo will be boarded upon arrival by the authorities who will take their own samples. If their analysis detects the presence of MON810, even if by contamination, they may refuse the import of cargo.

Vitsan recommend that vessels intending to load DDGS cargo destined for Turkey should check the cargo quality certificates or analyses certificates prior to loading as to whether it contains banned GM products.

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