Open Meeting on Genetically-Modified Barley in Iceland Skip to content

Open Meeting on Genetically-Modified Barley in Iceland

By Iceland Review

The Environment Agency of Iceland held an open meeting at Grand Hotel in Reykjavík yesterday to discuss growing genetically-modified barley outside greenhouses in Iceland because biotechnology start-up ORF Líftaekni’s request for a permit for such cultivation.

CEO of ORF Líftaekni Björn Lárus Örvar. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.

At the end of the meeting, the agency’s representatives were given a petition with around 1,000 signatures encouraging them not to grant the permit. The public has the chance to send the agency their comments on this matter until June 12 and the decision will likely be made by June 16, Fréttabladid reports.

“Comparable permits have been granted in Europe for the past few years,” said CEO of ORF Líftaekni Björn Lárus Örvar. “Our competitors in Germany are for example cultivating in a few hectares so it is a huge misunderstanding that we Icelanders are pioneers in this sense.”

Most of the members of consultation committee on genetically-modified organisms have already given ORF Líftaekni’s application a favorable review but two of the members oppose it and submitted dissenting opinions.

One of them is Gunnar Á. Gunnarsson and in his opinion he refers to the Icelandic government’s policy on sustainable development, for example. However, Eva Benediktsdóttir, the board’s chairperson, said there is no reason to reject ORF Líftaekni’s request.

Click here to read more about this story.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!