Published On: Sun, Apr 6th, 2014

Russia bans Import and Production of GMO Food, tightens Non-Food GMO Restrictions

nsnbc : Russia will stop importing GMO food products and tighten restrictions on non-food GMOs in the country. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced an end to the import of GMO food. Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin issued a decree to protect Russian citizens from GMOs, stressing that new legislation is consistent with Russia’s obligations within the World Trade Organization.

Photo: Courtesy of Ria Novosti.

Photo: Courtesy of Ria Novosti.

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced that Russia will end importing GMO products and stressed that he had ordered the widespread monitoring of the agricultural sector, because a certain amount of GMO products and seeds had made its way into the Russian market despite strict restrictions. 

Speaking to a congress of deputies from rural communities on Saturday, Medvedev said that Russia didn’t have any reason to encourage the production of genetically modified products or import them into the country.

Addressing pressure from the side of foreign governments and corporations, especially from the United States, Medvedev stressed that Russia has enough space and opportunity to produce a sufficient amount of organic food, and that the Americans could eat GMO food themselves, if they like to eat it.

Besides the ban on the import of GMO products, Russia will tighten restrictions on non-agricultural GMOs. The Russian news agency Ria Novosty reports that the certification of non-agricultural genetically modified organisms could be restricted to ten years. A draft law has been drawn up by Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science. The news agency reports that such certification previously had an unlimited duration. Under the new legislation the certificates for GMOs would only be valid for ten years.

Medvedev’s decision to end the import of GMOs follows the introduction of a bill banning the cultivation of GMO products by the Russian parliament (Duma) in February. Ria Novosty cites Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich as saying that the government’s decree on legalizing GMO crops would be corrected.

Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, has issued a decree to protect Russian citizens from genetically modified foods. Putin noted that this could be done while complying with the obligations Russia has within the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, reports Ria Novosty, has repeatedly stated that the health of seeds is the basis of food security of the Russian Federation. The Office noted that the development, testing and seed production of GMO crops were monopolized by multinational corporations, that may be artificially restricting access to data on the adverse effects of the widespread of such products.

Ch/L – nsnbc 05.04.2014

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