February 17
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YEREVAN. – Head of the Armenian state service for food safety said he would not like to use genetically modified organism (GMO)-containing products. 

Ishkhan Karapetyan, Head of the State Service for Food Safety (SSFS) of Armenia, told the aforesaid to reporters, after Thursday’s Cabinet meeting of the government.

“Our service is carrying out activities within the scope of its authorization, and studying the circulation process,” he said. “At present, the volume of the seeds imported [to Armenia] by Monsanto  company doesn’t exceed 1 percent in total imports. I don’t think it contains a great risk.”

When asked how expedient it is for the GMO-containing food to enter Armenia, the SSFS chief responded as follows, in particular: “Whether or not such food will come to Armenia is out of my competence. I myself, as a human being, as a citizen, naturally don’t think that it’s expedient to sell GMO-containing products in Armenia.”

Also, Karapetyan noted that under the food safety law in Armenia, the GMO content of a food product must be labeled in the country.  

Rafik Mansour, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan, recently noted that Monsanto company, which produces GMO seeds, will be entering the market of Armenia. Subsequently, concerns were raised that this may be risky for the country’s population.

And in response to Armenian’s inquiry about this matter, the U.S. Embassy had stated that it is ultimately up to Armenia’s farmers and agribusinesses to whether to use the products and services of Monsanto company.

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