While genetically modified crops continue to be grown on a large scale on the United States, a different story has unfolded in several other modernized nations.
Many countries have continued to rally against and reject GMOs, and few more fiercely than Russia, where the country’s government has continually spoken out strongly against them.
The Russian leadership views GMOs not only as a threaten to sovereign, natural and sustainable agriculture, but also as part of an imperialistic machine that seeks to gain market share and control on behalf of large multinationals like Monsanto.
Russia has not been shy about enacting GMO bans in the past, and now the country’s Deputy PM has delivered yet another blow to the GM food industry.
Russia Won’t Use GMOs to Boost Productivity
As has been written about extensively in the past, Russia doesn’t buy the GMO industry’s “feed the world” PR push, and is taking a different course of action while seeking to boost its yields through organic and more natural agriculture.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, Russia is working on boosting agricultural productivity but does not need GMOs to achieve its goals. Dvrokovich was quoted in this article from the website Sustainable Pulse, whose source was the Russian site interfax.ru.
He boasted that Russia’s agricultural products will be among the “cleanest in the world” as the result of this policy, adding that there are plans to use other technologies while also using less fertilizer and maximizing the potential of the country’s farmland without GMOs.
Both President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have pledged their support for a GMO-free future in Russia, with Putin saying in 2014 that the country needs to protect its citizens from consuming too many GMO food products.
The Sustainable Pulse article said that Russia does import considerable amounts of foods that contain GM soy; however its agricultural minister Nikolai Fyodorov also wants Russia to remain as GMO-free as possible.
He has equated GM crops to “poison” that Russia’s citizens must be protected from. This is in stark contrast to the U.S. where Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s pro-GMO policies (Vilsack was a former Biotech Governor of the Year in Iowa) have continued.
Russia has worked on GMO bans in the past and also established labeling laws that include stiff penalties for those who violate them.
President Putin said in 2014 that Russia must protect its citizens from over-consumption of products containing genetically modified organisms. Medvedev followed this with a statement that Russia has no intention to import GMOs, however there are still considerable quantities of GMO foods (mainly GM soya) being imported in to Russia.
In 2013 Russian scientists urged a 10-year ban on GMOs; its neighbor Ukraine is currently being prepared for what some have called a possible takeover by Cargill, Monsanto and other pro-GMO U.S. based interests.
Despite the chaos, Russia’s leadership has allowed it to remain strong and united against GMOs where others have folded.