Russian government passes anti-GMO laws to protect health of its citizens

Corn

The government of Russia has approved a bill banning all cultivation and breeding of genetically modified plants and animals with the exception of their use for research.According to Russian government approves bill banning genetically modified crops,

The bill’s authors propose amending the laws on state regulation of genetic engineering, seed growing and environmental protection and the Code of Administrative Offences “to improve state regulation of genetic engineering in order to minimize the risk to human beings and the environment.”

The bill would also introduce “measures to monitor the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the environment and the influence of GMOs and products produced with the use of or containing GMOs on humans and the environment, and to oblige the importers of GMOs and products containing them to register these products.”

This does not mean that Russia is a GMO-free haven. According to Government commission approves bill banning cultivation of genetically modified organisms by Tass Russian News Agency,

more than 50 companies supply over 500,000 tons of genetically modified products to Russia annually. Transgene soybeans and corn can be found in 61 products on the Russian market (flour, sausages, beverages, food additives, and infant foods).

Russia already has strict laws for labeling GMO food brought into the country. Govt approves fines for improper GMO labeling reports:

The Russian cabinet has approved the bill introducing heavy fines for businessmen who violate the rules on obligatory marking of foodstuffs containing genetically-modified products.

The bill has been drafted by the state consumer rights agency Rospotrebnadzor and concerns all food and beverage products containing genetically-modified organisms or their parts, or which are made using such organisms. Entrepreneurs who fail to put markings on the products they sell or distort the information will be fined between 20,000 and 150,000 rubles (US$555 – $4150). Control bodies can also confiscate the improperly marked stock.

The current Russian law orders clearly visible indication on all goods that contain 0.9 percent of genetically-modified organisms by weight. There are no limitations on the turnover or production of GMO-containing foodstuffs.

With steps like these, Russia has made excellent progress in eliminating GMO food from its markets. The article says:

that the share of GMO in Russian food industry had declined from 12 percent to just 0.01 percent over the past 10 years and currently there are just 57 registered food products containing GMO in the country.

In the United States of America, it is estimated that upwards of 70 percent of processed foods in local supermarkets contain genetically modified ingredients, with virtually no way to know due to very weak labeling requirements. Virtually all corn (88%), soy (93%), cottonseed (94%) and canola (90%)  grown in USA are genetically modified.