There are serious problems with the quality of Ukrainian grain delivered to Hungary. The previous concerns have now been confirmed by the results of national investigations coordinated by the National Food Chain Safety Office (Nébih), which have been ongoing since February.
Among the grain stored in Hungary and purchased from Ukraine, there are plenty of items that cannot be marketed in compliance with the strict plant protection regulations of the European Union and Hungary – explained the Ministry of Agriculture.
The latest news of the economy and business life in the Napi.hu newsletter.
We have sent you an email! Open it and click the Subscribe link to confirm your subscription.
You will then receive the Napi.hu Newsletters morning and evening.
GMO corn and chemicals in all quantities
During the investigation of Ukrainian grain since February the authorities have detected mycotoxin contamination of soy and corn in several cases, but cereal plants contaminated with pesticides were also found among the lots.
Experts also detected GMO contamination in some corn shipments. The genetically modified corn has been seized and the lots will be destroyed.
During the tests, corn contaminated with infected seeds was also found. Coated seed contains chemicals and other plant protection agents that make it more resistant, thus helping the plant to emerge. At the same time, these synthetic substances pollute the environment, contribute to the death of bees and other insects, and can also be detected in the produce, meaning that they also harm the human body when consumed.
In February, Minister of Agriculture István Nagy ordered strict quality and food chain safety checks on grain coming from Ukraine to Hungary. The specialists on samples taken from items found in grain storages
- GMO and pesticide residue and toxin content tests were carried out,
- they also checked the storage conditions, the possible presence of warehouse pests,
- and also traceability.
There can also be problems with Ukrainian flour
The national inspections covered not only unprocessed grain crops, but also wheat flour of Ukrainian origin arriving in Hungary, as the quality of these also raised concerns. Inspections for flour are extensive
- for the ash content calculated on dry matter,
- to the moisture content,
- for the bakery value group,
- on the pesticide content
- and radiological examinations.
The use of contaminated grain is prohibited
It is the direct responsibility of Hungarian enterprises using Ukrainian grain to use only grain that complies with EU and domestic regulations. The contaminated raw materials found during the tests did not reach Hungarian consumers – added the Ministry of Agriculture.
Nébih previously informed Napi.hu that in the European Union
There is a ban on the use of 22 active substances that are authorized in Ukraine.
However, this does not mean that a ban could be introduced on the import of active substances if their value is below the MRL limit set by the EU regulation.
If the crop is contaminated with a substance that is prohibited or not authorized in the EU or Hungary, the so-called MRL, i.e. the limit value of the permitted plant protection agent, is decisive from the point of view of safety. Crops contaminated below the MRL can be legally imported into the EU, despite the ban on the active substance in the EU.
Ukraine is more lenient with GMO, but does not need it
The test result on genetically modified ingredients is certainly interesting, since officially Ukraine did not grow GMO plants before the war either.
Ukraine is somewhat more permissive with GMOs than Hungary, we have a complete ban on the cultivation of these plants.
In Ukraine, since 2007, the use of each type of GMO has been subject to a strict licensing procedure. Until now, the authorities have only permitted such plants for research and scientific use.
The cultivation of genetically modified plants would also be unnecessary, since Ukraine has the best quality soil in the world and the size of its cultivated areas is huge. And on the world market, GMO-free plants are much more in demand and can be sold much more expensively. In addition, the Ukrainian population also rejects GMOs.