Russia’s government has submitted a bill to the country’s parliament, seeking to ban cultivation and breeding of genetically modified organisms (GMO).

The bill, submitted to the lower house of Russia’s parliament Tuesday, bans “the cultivation and breeding of genetically modified plants and animals on the territory of the Russian Federation, except for the use in expertise and scientific research.”

Importers of GMOs would be required to register and the government would be enabled to prohibit the import of such products to Russia after monitoring their effects on humans and the environment, according to the proposed legislation.

In addition, the bill envisions fines of up to 50,000 rubles (about $770) for officials and 500,000 rubles ($7680) for companies that fail to comply with existing GMO regulations.

Dozens of countries worldwide, including Russia, require food producers to label genetically modified foods, with opponents of GMOs, arguing that the health risks associated with such products have not been adequately studied.

In April 2014, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated that Russia would not import GMO food products, having enough resources to produce non-modified foods.


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