Thursday, February 6, 2014
Russia Considers GM Food Production Ban
Total Ban On GM Food Production Mulled By Russia
A group of Russian MPs have prepared a bill severely restricting imports of genetically modified agricultural produce, and completely banning its domestic production.
The initiative is backed by Evgeny Fyodorov of the parliamentary majority United Russia and a group called Russian Sovereignty, which unites MPs from various parties and parliamentary factions.
The politicians want to amend the existing law On Safety and Quality of Alimentary Products with a norm set for the maximum allowed content of transgenic and genetically modified components. The powers to establish that norm go to the government and products with excessive content of GMO components should be banned for turnover and imports.
Currently there are no limitations on the turnover or production of GMO-containing foodstuffs in Russia. However, when the percentage of GMO exceeds 0.9 percent the producer must label such goods and warn consumers. Last autumn the government passed a resolution allowing the listing of genetically modified plants in the Unified State Register, but this resolution will come in force only in July this year.
The main sponsor of the bill, Fyodorov, said in comments to Izvestia daily that he wanted to make this norm zero for all foodstuffs produced in Russia. The draft bans the production of genetically modified organisms and transgenic products of plant, animal or microbial origin for their use in human and animal foods.
Fyodorov said that this measure was needed because international corporations could try to bypass the limitations on imports by launching GMO production inside Russia. He added that under the new bill businessmen still can register genetically modified organisms and conduct research, but not grow and sell them until a slightest doubt of their safety remains.
Professionals perceived the initiative differently. The head of Russia’s Organic Farming Union, Yakov Lyubovedsky, holds that the passing of the bill would show if the Duma can defend the country’s independence and the interests of population. He also added that GMO was an experiment on humanity itself and that the industry could do very well without genetically-enhanced plants and animals.
Countries see the rejection of GM on a global basis and its economic effect. Any countries doing this will have the economic advantage in response to that. This may well be the best way to put an end to GMOS in the US as we also see more farmers moving to conventional seed because of price, pest and weed resistance and effects on other crops. There is also more profit in the biodiversity real farming brings. Monsanto and other companies may be able to buy judges but farmers are beginning to see through their tactics as are consumers.