An official letter penned by a group of top Russian scientists, farmers, and eco-conscious bodies was sent this past week to Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, urging him to add all foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to the existing foods which have been sanctioned by Russia for the EU, U.S. and Australia, among other countries.
The ban suggested by these experts includes 18 varieties of GMOs, including those that have been registered and approved for use in Russia, minimally as food for humans, and more so as feed for farm animals.
If you happen to be fluent in Russian you can read the full Letter in Russian here.
The experts pointed out that most countries which are producing GM foods (namely the U.S.) already have sanctions against Russia, so there is really no reason to tolerate the sub-par food pushed on these countries by big biotech companies like Monsanto (USA), Dow (USA), DuPont Pioneer (USA), Bayer (Germany), BASF (Germany).
The experts went on to offer their opinion that Russia should only purchase non-GMO food and feed products from countries which are not supporting sanctions against the country such as Brazil, China, India and South Africa – in other words, primarily the BRICS countries.
Elena Sharoykina, Director of the Russian National Association for Genetic Safety says:
“Now is a good time to stop the spread of food and feed products in Russia that contain GMOs, so we are then able to obtain objective scientific data on the impact of GMOs on the health of mammals. Independent research from domestic and foreign scientists suggests that GMOs may have an adverse effect on the health of mammals and lead to the development of diseases such as cancer, allergies, obesity, infertility, and others. To clarify the mechanisms of the impact of GMOs on living organisms, we need to continue to develop independent research in this area.”
In March of this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia must protect its citizens from GMOs, and that this could be done in compliance with the country’s obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO). However, with the U.S. forcing new sanctions against Russia, the game has likely changed.
In June, Russia also delayed the registration of GM varieties for the planting of modified crops, which had been planned to start in July. Currently, Russia will not certify GM seeds for at least 3 more years due to delays in creating the necessary infrastructure