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Farmers to receive €1,320 a hectare for GM taint

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Hungarian farmers will receive HUF 360,000 (€1,320) in compensation for each hectare of maize ploughed under due to contamination from genetically modified (GM) seeds, the state secretary in charge of government communications said on Wednesday.

Zoltán Kovács said that the government had allocated a total of HUF 4 billion (€14.7 million) for the purpose. He added that the per-hectare amount had been calculated on the basis of production averages and prices during the past few years. Farmers have until September 30 to submit their claims, and will receive payments in December, the state secretary added.

By mid-July some 950 hectares of GM maize had been destroyed and a further 2,500 hectares affected by contaminated seeds were under inspection by the authorities. Determined to preserve Hungary's GM-free status, the government introduced fines ranging from HUF 50,000 to HUF 2 million (€180-7,450) for using or distributing GM seeds.

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