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Russian citizens, scientists feel reject GMOs as lawmakers push for total ban

Friday, February 28, 2014 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: GMOs, total ban, Russia

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(NaturalNews) The general hostility of the American mainstream media, which is heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical and chemical cartels, toward Russia during the 2014 Winter Olympics could have some of its underpinnings in the Eurasian country's stance on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According to Voice of Russia (VoR), Russia's Ministry of Agriculture wants to see the cultivation and sale of GMOs completely banned in Russia, and all of the country's agriculture converted to organic, while at least 80 percent of Russian citizens say they also oppose the corrupt technology.

A direct threat to the powerful industries that control the U.S. government and media machine, Russia's strong anti-GMO posture is expected to rapidly sweep across Europe, nearly all of which currently requires GMOs to at least be labeled at the retail level. But if Russia decides to drop the axe on biotechnology altogether and assume the role as the world leader in clean food production, many other nations will likely follow suit, which could very well be the straw that breaks the camel's back for transgenic crops.

Russian law already requires the labeling of foods containing GMOs, and the country is largely considered to be GMO-free already due to the fact that Moscow, Belgorod, Kostroma, Nizhniy, Novgorod, Kurgan and many other cities have been declared GMO-free zones. In fact, there are currently no GM crops being grown in Russia at all, and the country prizes its position as the global leader in non-GM grain production, of which it exports some 20 millions tons to the world market each year.

WTO standards threaten to permanently damage Russian agriculture

Russia's recent joining of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2012, however, threatens to undermine the solidarity of its pristine agricultural system. Because of this, many policy experts are urging the immediate passage of legislation outlawing all GM crop production within Russia's borders, a move that would also address the inherent safety issues associated with GMOs that have been ignored by the U.S. and other countries that have blindly embraced the technology.

"These organisms are all dangerous because the very technology of their production is far from being perfect -- it features pathogenic bacteria and viruses," says biology professor and international food safety expert Dr. Irina Ermakova about the problems with GMOs. "When scientists tested the aftermath of GMO-produce on animals, they were horrified with the results -- cancer and obesity. So the best things [sic] would be to ban [all] such foods... as European countries do."

The vast majority of Russian citizens are also opposed to GMOs, which is helping drive the push to update the country's food laws. According to VoR, a group of parliament members recently introduced a bill to amend Russia's "On Safety and Quality of Alimentary Products" law, which would require all foods produced in Russia to be completely GMO-free as well as prohibit the production of GMOs anywhere on Russian soil.

"It seems a very wise decision to me," stated Nina Holland, a researcher and campaigner at the Corporate Europe Observatory, a group devoted to challenging irresponsible corporate agriculture and other institutionalized injustices. "The EU [European Union] doesn't produce many GMOs, just some maize in Spain. So [it would be] nice if Russia bans the GMOs -- from both the environmental point of view as well as [from] the point of view of the independence of farmers."

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