From: Associated Press
Published October 25, 2004 12:00 AM

Environmental Groups and Scientists Call for Restrictions and Research on GM Food

MOSCOW — More than 35 people, most of them leaders of scientific or environmental activist groups, released a letter recently urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to set limits on the development and use of genetically modified foods.


The letter said that it was a response to growing efforts — which it suggested originate largely in the United States — to "inculcate" Russia with agricultural production based on genetically modified organisms.


It said those who carry out "the interests of transnational, mostly American biotech companies are silent about the risks and dangers to human health and the environment from GM technologies, which have not been fully studied."


The letter calls for a ban on the use of genetically modified products in baby food, a moratorium on commercial production of genetically modified brands until they are proved harmless by independent experts, a law on "biosecurity," and the harmonization of Russian laws on genetically modified foods with the legislation of other countries.


It also calls for state support of independent research on the effects of genetically modified organisms and products on people and the environment.


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"The short-term benefits for small groups of researchers and business people who are engaged in the production and distribution of genetically modified foods must not outweigh Russia's long-term national interests," the letter says.


Source: Associated Press


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