GENET archive


2-Plants: Russian Grain Union will promote GE crops

-------------------------- GENET-news ---------------------------

TITLE:  Russian Grain Union says it will promote modified grains
SOURCE: Bridge Information Systems Inc.
DATE:   January 31, 2000

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Russian Grain Union says it will promote modified grains

Moscow -- Russia's Grain Union plans to study and promote the use
of genetically modified (GM) grains in Russia, Vladimir
Petrichenko, Vice President of the union said. He said the union
would hold an international conference in May on the prospects of
GM grains in Russia. "The conference will focus on the use of the
GM grains in Russia. We shall invite specialists from abroad for
a wide discussion of the problem," Petrichenko said. He said
there were visible advantages of using GM crops, while there were
no proven facts against them. "The positive effects of GM crops
are evident especially in fighting crops' diseases. There are
fears that the crops might have a negative impact on people's
health, but this has not been proven yet," Petrichenko said. He
said the Grain Union would make efforts for an in-depth study of
possible effects of the GM crops before Russian farmers start
growing them. "We are not against the use of the crops, but we
consider the crops should be used only for animal feed,"
Petrichenko said. He said Russian research institutes were aware
of the problem, although no modified seeds have been developed
yet. Russia planted GM soy and corn for the first time in 1999.
The seeds were supplied within the US food aid package to Russia.
Although the crops were used only for feed and received high
appraisal from Russian farmers, the agriculture ministry said it
would ask the US to supply only ordinary seed hybrids within the
20,000-tonne food aid, pledged by the US this year.


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