Russia Delays Certification of Genetically Modified Seeds

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian government will postpone the introduction of a certification process for genetically modified seeds for three years, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday.

A decree on the issue signed by Medvedev last September would have permitted sowing fields with genetically-modified seeds beginning in June.

Medvedev said the government decree introducing the certification of GMO seeds was adopted as part of the process of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization.

On Tuesday, the Russian prime minister said the dates set in the decree are too optimistic.

“This decree, done on my initiative, will be corrected and we will postpone the date of introducing the certification for three years, because we’re simply not ready,” Medvedev said during an annual report before the country’s lower house of parliament.

“But even if the certification appears in three years or at another time, this doesn’t mean that we will allow the use of genetically-modified material,” he said.

The Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance has repeatedly stated that the health of seeds is the basis of food security for the country. The agency has said that the development, testing and seed production of GMO crops has been monopolized by multinational corporations, which could be artificially restricting access to data on the adverse effects of the widespread use of such products.

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