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posted by janrinok on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the If-you-can't-beat-them-ban-them dept.

c0lo writes:

"Russian legislators are asking the government to impose a temporary ban on all genetically-altered products in Russia, while the Agriculture Ministry suggests the punishment for illegal GMO production be equated to that of growing cannabis.

While the State Duma's Agriculture Committee posed as worried about the control over the GMO effects on humans and the natural environment, the deputy Agriculture Minister Aleksandr Petrikov seems to focus more on economic risks. Russia cannot compete with foreign producers when it comes to costs, but still can position itself as a producer of high-quality, GMO-free agricultural goods.

However, the deputy head of Russia's state consumer rights watchdog, Gennady Ivanov, reminded MPs that since Russia joined the WTO in 2012, trade restrictions can be imposed only after the hazardous effects of the banned goods are scientifically proven. In early February, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a government session that Russia will create its own research base for genetically modified organisms that would provide the authorities with expert information and allow for further legislative movements and executive decisions."

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Geotti on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:35AM

    by Geotti (1146) on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:35AM (#8937) Journal

    According to here [google.com], Russian legislation criminally punishes the growing of plants containing (precursors to/of) psychotropic substances.

    Even though I applaud them taking a (hopefully eternal) stance against Monsanto & Co. additional legislation will have to be adjusted accordingly, as the following paragraph forms an exception on the amount you grow:

    The bottom line is that according to this statute criminalizes the cultivation of narcotic plants (in particular, for the cultivation of cannabis) begins with the identification of the amount - 20 bushes. If you have a smaller amount seized, you will only brought to administrative responsibility. And here there is a penalty of 1.5 to 4 thousand rubles, or arrest up to 15 days. (Google translate)

    So around 100 USD max or 15 days arrest? Seeing as it's quite difficult to arrest a corporation, and it is just an administrative offense, the 100 bucks remain (if done right).

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:10AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:10AM (#8944) Journal

      Well, they really don't have an issue with people growing GMO crops in Russia.

      the Agriculture Ministry suggests the punishment for illegal GMO production be equated to that of growing cannabis.

      Any guy can smuggle in a few pot seeds.
      But its pretty hard to smuggle in enough Monsanto seed to make a difference. You need truck loads of seed.

      So its pretty much a non-issue.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by frojack on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:39AM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:39AM (#8939) Journal

    Russia will create its own research base for genetically modified organisms that would provide the authorities with expert information and allow for further legislative movements and executive decisions."

    Good.

    Its about time some (relatively) uninterested party do some actual science on this issue and find out exactly what is going on. There is no reason to believe the manufacturers without some form of proof or independent analysis.

    I suppose the Russians might tweek the science a little bit to put the US at a disadvantage, but then our own Food and Drug and Dept of Agriculture aren't above a little blind reading either.

    The EU, just stopped doing any investigating [nature.com] back in 2003, and decided to just ban it all. (since partially rescinded).

    The thing is, there is some evidence that GMO crops aren't all that successful at increasing yields over traditional methods, and other methods work just as well. [tandfonline.com]

    It seems the principal reason for GMO to-date is allow increased use of pesticides. That seems wrong headed.

    Personally from what I've read there is no indication of harm from eating GMO corn or the beef that is raised on it, but having someone else that wants to do the science sounds like a good idea to me.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by crutchy on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:46AM

      by crutchy (179) on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:46AM (#8942) Homepage Journal

      there is no indication of harm from eating GMO corn or the beef that is raised on it

      can't be any worse than the chickens here having bigger testicles than prize bulls

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:13AM (#8945)

      Hopefully the ghost of Trofim Lysenko doesn't come to haunt them. In the Soviet era modern genetics was, thanks largely to Lysenko, stigmatised as 'bourgeois science', and misguided agricultural policies based on his Lysenkoism (it was ideologically pure, the small detail being that reality didn't work that way!) were a major contributor to the famines that struck the Soviet Union. While Soviet mathematics and physics were world class, biology was set back decades. I hope that biological research in Russia today has managed to transcend this dark era.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday March 01 2014, @07:05AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 01 2014, @07:05AM (#9001) Journal

        Its not 1948 any more.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by M. Baranczak on Saturday March 01 2014, @05:06AM

      by M. Baranczak (1673) on Saturday March 01 2014, @05:06AM (#8968)

      Its about time some (relatively) uninterested party do some actual science on this issue and find out exactly what is going on.

      Which is never going to happen in this case. You'll just get a committee of "scientists" telling the Russian politicians whatever they want to hear.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by clone141166 on Saturday March 01 2014, @06:32AM

      by clone141166 (59) on Saturday March 01 2014, @06:32AM (#8990)

      It would be very nice to see more independent research into the long term effects of GMO crops. But I seriously doubt that an organisation established at the behest of the Russian government is going to provide unbiased research.

      Given that the Russian government appears to already be strongly opposed to GMO crops based on economic grounds, it is more likely that the research institute is being set up as a puppet organisation to allow them to circumvent their WTO commitments requiring a scientific basis before they can establish a trade ban.

      Once they have fabricated enough of their own "scientific research" it becomes a he-says-she-says debate with so much FUD and confusion from both sides that they can pretty much do whatever they want after that (see the Global Warming debate for an example of this).

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:28AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:28AM (#9044)

    Since nobody yet mentions patents in the comments, I though it was about time somebody did. It's certainly the part of the GMO discussion nobody can say doesn't exist.

    Not related to Russia or 420 though.