14 February 2014, 14:17

'GMO products cause cancer and obesity' - food safety expert

'GMO products cause cancer and obesity' - food safety expert

Russia is firm: no genetically modified organisms in food production, the head of Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture Nikolay Fyodorov stated at the All-Russian Meeting of Agrarians. GMO-foods controversies between scientists, ecologists and producers have a long history. Russia, which is now going organic, has faced these problems just recently.

The battle is being waged by two camps: while scientists lack arguments and evidence that GMO is harmful, huge and powerful production corporation have resources and political links. Scientists say they will need another couple of decades for a comprehensive research, but some threats are obvious already now, says Biology Professor and international expert on eco and food safety Dr. Irina Ermakova:

"These organisms are all dangerous because the very technology of their production is far from being perfect ­– it features pathogenic bacteria and viruses. When scientists tested the aftermath of GMO-produce on animals, they were horrified with the results – cancer and obesity. So the best things would be to ban such foods at all, as European countries do".

Today Russia is one of the largest global manufacturers of GMO-free grain. This agricultural year, its grain exports can account for 20 million tons. Environmentally friendly production can become Russia’s qualitative advantage in the world market. However, the share of such production is still insignificant, experts say, so it’s rather about the country’s agricultural potential. It can be used at full capacity after changes in the legislation, believes the editor-in-chief of the Agrarian Review magazine Konstantin Lysenko:

"We have no legislation which defines organic production. And potentially Russia can flood the planet with such foods, as GMO-farming is banned in the country. But the reality is that, practically, all soy cultivated in the world is genetically modified as well as some 20% of corn ".

Meanwhile the Russian government suggested to manage the use of GMOs cultures. Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered to probe if Russia has any such crops and compile a database of all imports. Then a legislative decision will follow.

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