Thanks to a joint Hungarian-German initiative, on 17 July 2017 the agriculture ministers of Austria, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Croatia, Poland, Luxembourg, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia officially signed the European Soy Declaration at Hungary’s Permanent Representation in Brussels.

The host of the event, Hungarian Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas, highlighted the fact that according to the standpoint of the Hungarian Government, maintaining a GMO-free agriculture represents an outstanding opportunity for both European agriculture and upcoming generations.

“Hungary’s constitution specifically sets down the country’s GMO-free status, in addition to which in 2015 Hungary launched the “Alliance for a GMO-free Europe” initiative. The Declaration signed today is an important milestone in this collaboration, in which the initiator Hungary was joined by 13 other member states of the European Union”, Mr. Fazekas stressed following the signing of the document.

DownloadPhoto: Ministry of Agriculture

“Europe’s agriculture, and especially the animal husbandry sector, is heavily dependent on genetically modified soy imported from South America, which raises several questions requiring solutions for European government and citizens. The countries that have signed the Declaration have assured their support for the promotion of the cultivation of legumes for food industry and feed purposes”, he explained.

“I am convinced that with coordinated efforts at European level we can indeed realise our goals, and European citizens will also enjoy significant social, environmental and health-related advantages as a result of our joint action”, the Minister of Agriculture stressed.

DownloadPhoto: Ministry of Agriculture

According to the Declaration, legumes are vital to the world’s agriculture, but in Europe they are only cultivated on some 3-4% of available arable land. Thanks to the unique nature of legumes, increasing their level of production in Europe will contribute to maintaining the diversity of crops.

Thanks also to the Danube Soy Alliance launched in 2012, the production area of GMO-free soy within the Danube region has increased to 700 thousand hectares over the past four years. Mr. Fazekas stressed that all conditions are given to enable further growth in this field. According to the Hungarian Minister of Agriculture, the signing of the Declaration is a major step towards realising a sustainable and GMO-free European agriculture.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)