GMO

A Russian official is calling for the creation of an international United Nations watchdog agency that would be charged with the task of overseeing the distribution of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) around the world, as well as monitoring the health effects and long-term safety risks of these controversial crops.

According to Valentina Matviyenko the Russian Federation Council speaker, the widespread distribution of genetically modified organisms is cause for concern, particularly over human health. She’s asking the Russian government to formally request that the United Nations General Assembly move forward with the creation of the global GMO watchdog group.

Russia has recently restricted the sale and distribution of certain genetically modified organisms–including U.S.-grown GMO corn–and Russian scientists recently called for a ten-year ban on all genetically modified organisms, citing that “all GMOs are dangerous.” Officials are now working towards a moratorium on growing or selling GMOs in the country until further research can be done on their safety.

“The speaker of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament also spoke in favor of facilitating production of organic food in the country, as ‘the volumes of imported agricultural goods and food remain substantial,’ reports RT. Earlier this year Russia’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, said the country could become self-sufficient through the production of organic foods.

Just last week, the country’s Federal Service for Consumer Rights and Human Welfare Protection presented a draft bill “that would fine producers and resellers of food products containing GMO if they fail to mark it properly with ‘GMO inside’ mark,” reports RT.

“It’s absolutely clear that the GMO problem is a global issue,” Matviyenko said.

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Image: David Blackwell