Russia’s President Vladimir Putin recently signed the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences into law which fines those who violate mandatory GMO labeling conditions, and now the Russian’s are stepping up their regulatory laws that previously allowed GMOs to be imported. Will Russia soon successfully ban GMOs fro their country completely?
The Russian government’s Commission on Legislative Activities approved a bill introduced by both the Ministry of Science and Education and supported by the Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov that would ban the cultivation and breeding of genetically modified organisms in Russia. That is, except when used for scientific research (likely to prove its dangers) as well as to limit imports of biotech’s products.
President Vladimir Putin met with Russia’s Security Council recently “on the status and problems of national security in connection with the use of genetically modified organisms.” It was following this meeting that the draft federal law was penned. It is a breakthrough in ridding the world of genetically modified crops, and if Russia is able to pass it successfully, then there is hope for other countries in Europe and elsewhere as well.
The bill would strengthen current Federal laws already in place to regulate genetic engineering in order to “minimize risks to humans and the environment.” It would completely ban the cultivation and breeding of GMOs except under strict scientific controls for study, and also impose much stricter controls of any GMO products, forcing them to be registered through a government agency.
Most importantly, the law allows the complete prohibition of GMO imports into Russia based on current and future scientific research which has already defined their deleterious effects. The law further details administrative penalties for violating import and cultivation laws.
A full meeting of the Russian government is to take place at which time the bill will be considered for passage. Though Russia has come close to a complete ban of GMOs already, there are currently 18 different GMO varieties in GMO products currently allowed for import. While this is lower than in other countries, and Russia has banned cultivation from within its borders, this is a new, stricter stance on GMOs overall.
Putin, including a new article establishing liability for the violation of mandatory requirements for the labeling of food products that contain GMOs.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia has no intention to import GMOs in the near future. Will Russia soon be a completely GMO-free country?