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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Thursday, March 6
“Entrance of GM Food in Georgia is not controlled”

Green Party leader Giorgi Gachechiladze has called on parliament to adopt the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to enforce control of GM products, according to Akhali Taoba.

“The local consumer market is full of low quality products that sometimes even pose a health risk. This includes GM foods. Currently, the administration does not regulate the import of GM food,” Gachechiladze said.

“This proposal [to adopt the Cartagena Protocol] was presented to parliament twice, however it was turned down both times…its adoption is vitally important,” he added.

“In the 1990s an agricultural company named Monsanto wanted to grow GM potatoes in Samtskhe-Javakheti region. However, we actively protested this forced them out of the country,” Gachechiladze said.

“Badri Patarkatsishvili’s family will not establish a political party”

Rezonansi reports that friends and political allies of late Georgian business tycoon and former presidential candidate Badri Patarkatsishvili deny his family plan to establish a political party.

“I met with Patarkatsishvili’s widow Ina Gudavadze before her departure from Tbilisi and she did not mention anything about creating a new political party. On the contrary, his family members have emphasized that they are leaving politics and will continue only charity activities,” opposition political faction Our Georgia leader Gocha Jojua said.

Rumors circulated last week that the business tycoon’s family were planning to establish a political party in Georgia.

Note: Patarkatsishvili died in London on February 12, initial reports say from heart failure.

Nutsa Shanshiashvili goes on tour in Germany

Akhali Taoba reports that popular Georgian singer Nutsa Shanshiashvili, who is currently based in Moscow, is embarking on a German tour.

She regularly returns to Georgian for concerts and to record wit other Georgian artists.

Her German tour will take her to Berlin, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf where she will perform the title role in the musical Edit Piaf.

Shanshiashvili performed the musical in Russia and Georgia to critical acclaim.

“Mikheil Saakashvili congratulates Medvedev on his election victory”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that President Mikheil Saakashvili congratulated Russian president-elect Dimitry Medvedev in a telephone conversation on February 6.

Medvedev expressed hope that a dialogue between Russia and Georgia would help foster good neighborly relations.

Both presidents expressed readiness for future cooperation.

“Iulon Gagoshidze holds first press conference”

Akhali Taoba reports that Georgian State Minister for the Diaspora Issues Iulon Gagoshidze held his first press conference in the role at the Tbilisi Marriott Hotel on March 6.

He said that he accompanied President Saakashvili on his recent trip to Moscow where he met Georgian diaspora representatives.

He also discussed Georgian migrant workers. “No on knows the exact number of Georgians living and working abroad. Some people say it is half a million others say 1.5 million. So we are planning to create a database of Georgian workers abroad. This is not an easy task,” Gagoshidze said.

At the end of the press conference the state minister presented the Georgian newspaper Akhali Iveriali, which is sold in Germany, and said that the ministry will work to encourage the distribution of other Georgian newspapers abroad.