Trade politics, not health concerns, driving Russia’s anti-GMO stance

The Russian government’s most public reason for banning GMOs—its citizens’ health—may not be its primary reason. During President Putin’s recent meeting with the Board of the Russian Federation Council, a senator pointed out that, to date, worldwide sales of GM seeds come to $50 million and the owner of the rights to the majority of those seeds is the United States. The increasing presence of foreign agricultural biotechnology in Russian grocery stores is viewed not only as a threat to people’s health, but also as a threat to the country’s domestic agricultural production.

Banning GMO imports, restricting GMO cultivation to research endeavors only, and allowing farmers to only plant GMO-free crops may be Russia’s new strategy to increase agricultural profits. The Deputy Agriculture Minister, Aleksandr Petrikov, stated that the ban could afford Russia large economic gains if the country chooses to become a major global producer of GMO-free products. With anti-GMO sentiments sweeping multiple continents, Russia could be looking to position itself to meet international demands as a major supplier of organic foods and ingredients.

Read the full, original article: Why does Russia Plan to Stop GMO Cultivation and Imports?

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