President Vladimir Putin told the Russian parliament on Dec. 3 that government policies should be put in place to make Russia self-sufficient in organic products by 2020 and then a world leader in supplying organics.
"Not only can we ourselves feed, but also taking into account its land, water -- which is particularly important – resources, Russia could become the world's largest supplier of healthy, environmentally friendly, high-quality food that has long been missing in some western producers," said Putin, quoted by news agency Interfax.ru and translated and retransmitted by watchdog group Sustainable Pulse.
Putin said it is necessary to pose the problem at the national level and by 2020 to fully meet the domestic market for domestic food. And that initiative will not include genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Sustainable Pulse (sustainablepulse.com), a European-based information clearinghouse opposed to GMOs and in favor of sustainable agriculture, noted 2015 has been a year of change in Russian agriculture with the Russian government announcing a new approaches to food production and labeling.
In January 2015, Putin signed into law the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences, including a new article establishing liability for the violation of mandatory requirements for the labeling of food products that contain GMOs. The bill, which was submitted by the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare, imposes fines for vague or unclear labeling on food products containing GMOs.
In June, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Russia will not use GMOs to increase productivity in agriculture. "Russia has chosen a different path. We will not use these technologies,” Sustainable Pulse quoted him.
As a result of this decision Russian products will be “one of the cleanest in the world” in terms of technology use, Dvorkovich continued. A bill for a full ban on the cultivation of GMO crops is currently going through the State Duma.
Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov also believes that Russia must remain a GMO-free country. At a meeting of deputies representing rural areas organized by United Russia, he said that the government will not “poison their citizens.”