Kyrgyz environmentalists are worried by the unrestricted import of genetically modified products and are urging the government to come up with robust policies.
They say that while the rest of the world hotly debates the benefits and risks of genetically modified, GM, crops, the Kyrgyz authorities have said and done nothing.
The authorities did in fact address the issue in the summer of 2006, when the government produced a draft law on biodiversity which was intended to address the import and production of GM products.
But when the draft went to parliament, deputies returned it in January 2007, saying it needed improvement.
Gennady Vorobyev, a genetic engineering expert who was one of those who drafted the bill, said the failure to pass it left a legal black hole.
Genetic modification began being widely used in agriculture in the mid-1990s, and ever since then scientists have argued passionately over its merits and pitfalls.
Supporters argue that the creation of disease or bug resistant crop varieties can greatly increase harvests, potentially cutting poverty and hunger in some of the world's poorest countries.
They also insist the new genetically modified food varieties are totally harmless to humans.
Their opponents disagree vehemently, fearing that GM strains could disrupt human immune systems and create allergic reactions and other disorders.
In addition, they worry that GM strains will harm the environment through a kind of "genetic pollution" effect.
Professor Yrysbek Abdurasulov, an agricultural specialist, is among those who are deeply concerned.
He complains that significant numbers of GM seeds have been imported from the United States, Holland, Germany, China and elsewhere without any monitoring of their effects. They include varieties of watermelon, cabbage, tomato, pepper, cucumber, potato and sugar beet.
Topping the list of concerns is the possible emergence of mutant organisms containing unpredictable features, and of more dangerous virus strains.
Genetic modification is big business. The biggest producers are the United States, Japan, Germany, France, China and India. According to some estimates, annual sales of GM products globally are worth US$20 billion a year.
However, production volumes are still relatively small, accounting for only one percent of total food products consumed worldwide every year.
But the rate at which the GM industry is accelerating, coupled with the failure of Kyrgyz officials to respond in the face of pressure to import more, alarms local environmentalists.
Kyrgyzstan should also be able to restrict certain GM imports under the 2003 Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which it has signed. This agreement entitles developing economies like Kyrgyzstan, in the absence of domestic regulatory frameworks, to make any decisions on GM imports subject to an assessment of the risks.
However, environmentalists in Kyrgyzstan complain that this mechanism is lying dormant as no one in government has explored its possibilities.
Official neglect of the GM issue has fuelled popular fears about the threats people might face from GM products.
Some farmers also fear that an unrestricted invasion of cheaper GM foodstuffs will price them out of the market. They say their old-fashioned varieties of fruit and vegetables will not be able to compete against blemish-free, longer-lasting GM imports.