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7-Business: Russia to restrict GM feed imports

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TITLE:  Russia to restrict GM feed imports from Oct 1-AgMin
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   July 11, 2002

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Russia to restrict GM feed imports from Oct 1-AgMin

MOSCOW - Russia will restrict imports of animal feed containing genetically 
modified (GM) material from October, First Deputy Agriculture Minister 
Sergei Dankvert said this week. "From October 1 we will import only 
registered products," Dankvert told reporters. A government resolution, to 
take effect from October 1, authorises the Agriculture Ministry to issue 
registration certificates for feeds containing GM components, which will 
serve as import permits.

Dankvert said the ministry planned to elaborate and publish rules on GM 
feeds registration within a month. He said he expected complications to 
appear on imports of feeds containing both registered and non-registered 
components. "Legislation of some countries allows mixing different GM 
products in one shipment. But suppliers will be obliged to bring in only 
products registered in Russia," Dankvert said. He declined to name 
exporting countries which could be affected by the new scheme.

But an analyst said the restrictions might have an impact on soybean 
products from the United States, Brazil and Argentina. "We expect Russia to 
import around 570,000 tonnes of soymeal and soybean flake this marketing 
season (October to September)," said Andrei Chernyshov, head of analysis at 
Rusagrokapital - a major grain processing and animal feed producing 
company. "These volumes are quite large, and restrictions may have negative 
consequences for both producers and Russian animal breeders," Chernyshov 

He said the impact of the new rules on another GM feed - U.S.-produced 
maize - might not be as strong. "On the one hand, U.S. maize exports to 
Russia are negligible as compared to the total output. And on the other, 
Russia can easily find a substitute in Ukraine or Hungary." Chernyshov 
estimated Russia's maize imports from the United states at up to 200,000 
tonnes this season, adding that only part of that total was meant for 
animal feed.


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