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Agriculture Minister: Hungary defending sovereignty in food production

Hungary is defending its sovereignty against Brussels in the area of food production, and the country will decide for itself what kind of technology it uses for cultivation, Minister of Agriculture Istvan Nagy said in Brussels.

At a November 20 meeting of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council, ministers debated the European Commission’s proposal on new gene management techniques, according to a statement by the agriculture ministry. This would force member states to use plants produced with such technologies, it added.

The minister told the meeting that Hungary planned to defend its sovereignty in this matter as well as others.

Nagy said Hungarian lawmakers saw the proposal as riding against the principle of subsidiarity. Further, it needed refining to ensure that organic farming can be clearly separated from crops produced with new GM techniques, he said.

Meanwhile, France requested the relaxation of rules for 2024 on non-productive areas, and the majority of ministers agreed, the statement said.

Nagy said farmers had seldom faced as many challenges as today in terms of production and financing, and they needed relief to maintain production potential. The joint proposal submitted with France would facilitate this, allowing farmers the opportunity to sow ecologically important second crops or nitrogen-fixing plants in non-productive areas without the use of pesticides. This solution would not especially compromise green objectives while keeping European farmers competitive, he said.

The statement notes that the government is seeking public views on the danger of GMOs as part of its National Consultation on the protection of sovereignty in the wake of the EU opening itself to shipments of Ukrainian genetically modified grain. Hungarians would decide whether they find this acceptable or not, the statement said.

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