Private laboratories working in the field of quality control of food fear the possibility of monopolization in the sector by the government – in particular, they have claims to the state laboratories, which are either already working or will start working in the future.
Representatives of the business believe that functions of private laboratories should not be duplicated, otherwise the state will become a monopolist, and private laboratories will be forced to close.
Director of the laboratory Multitest Levan Kalanadze states “Commersant” that a clear separation of activities of private and public laboratories is required and the public labs should deal only with those studies, which cannot be conducted by private ones.
In regard to compliance with European standards required for exports to the EU, he notes that private laboratories partially correspond to them, and work is already underway to meet other requirements.
“The state has many more opportunities and we will be able to compete with it. But if we talk about intellectual resources and investments, we are ready for it. The state must declare that in the near future it needs a specific type of research to know the country’s possibilities for exports. Then private laboratories should be given, for example, 6 months to prepare. If we cannot prepare for this time, then the state will be able to create such a laboratory itself, “- said the head of Multitest lab.
According to Nikoloz Shavdia, Director of the laboratory Cyto-2, there is a risk of violation of competition law by state laboratories.
“Food Safety Agency will offer all the facilities to pass check in government laboratories and the services of private laboratories that will put the business at a disadvantage. In all countries, there are private institutions that carry out laboratory control so that they do not know whose products they check. This approach reduces the risk of corruption “- he notes.
In his words, it is possible that the state will create a laboratory in accordance with the requirements of the EU, but he doubtsthat the EU demands from the Georgian government to infringing the interests of private laboratories.
“In addition, we must remember that very skilled professionals are working in private laboratories who have been trained in various countries, and, accordingly, have the authority to conduct such research” – Shavdia stresses.
At the same time, the head of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture Gigla Agulashvili states that as long as there are no information about whether the creation of the state lab will have a negative impact on the private labs.
“It is necessary to determine what percentage of orders for the study from the state and how possible is the monopolization of the sector” – he says.