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3-Food: Russia sets GM food import controls from July 1



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TITLE:  Russia sets GM food import controls from July 1
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   May 13, 1999

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Russia sets GM food import controls from July 1

Moscow - A spokesman for the veterinary control department at the health ministry was cited as saying that Russia will only allow imports of gene modified foods from July 1 if they pass a series of Russian safety tests, adding, "Russia is introducing for the first time from July a system of state registration of genetically modified products and products with genetically modified components. Suppliers of such products will have to submit them to tests, and then register them (to get a licence)." The spokesman added that Russia had previously relied on certificates issued by foreign authorities to producers saying their food did not contain genetically modified ingredients, but now Russia has accumulated the necessary expertise and developed a system of tests which could guarantee the safety of imported products. The spokesman said the registration procedure of genetically engineered foods was laid out in a ministry resolution in April, and the first application was received fr!
!
om U.S. seed producer Monsanto Co. The spokesman said he did not know if there had yet been any imports of genetically modified foods. Such products have not yet appeared on the Russian market, although domestic scientists have been carrying out experiments on genetic modification of livestock and plants for years. The law on state regulation of genetic engineering, which permits activities in the field providing they do not damage human health or the environment, was approved by parliament as early as 1996.  



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