Russia moves to legitimize GM seed imports, spur research

Russia has introduced a registration system for foods containing genetically modified organisms that could drag the illegal import of genetically modified seeds out of the shadows. Meanwhile, nongovernmental organizations are mounting a legal challenge to the government’s decision.

Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev signed the decree in September 2013 outlining the procedure for registration for GMOs, as well as giving the go-ahead for plan to carry out tests to examine the safety of GM varieties. The decree comes into affect June 1, 2014.

Officially, there is a ban currently in place on the import of GM varieties. In practice, however, GMOs are being used. “Without laboratory tests, it’s virtually impossible to work out whether seeds have been genetically modified,” says Mikhail Orlov, the president of Ambika-Agro. “So farmers buy whatever delivers the best result.”

“Introducing GM cultures will give farmers the chance to produce more but without spending more. GM cultures reduce the need for pesticides and increase our control over weeds, disease and pests,” explained Oleg Bukin, chief agronomist at the Talin farming company in Mordovia.

Read the full, original article: Genetically modified crops enter Russia

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