After three weeks of intensive campaigning against imports of genetically engineered food (GE) and feed coming into Russia, Greenpeace received an announcement from two major Russian food and feed importers that they have adopted a policy of only using non GE products.
Sodruzhestvo, the biggest soya importer in Russia, which supplies 70%
of all soya used in the Russian food and feed industry, has stated that
it will turn its new factory currently under construction in
Kaliningrad into a GE free zone. The new oil-extraction and
feed-processing plant will not only produce GE free soya oils and
feeds, but also GE free maize and GE free oilseed rape products.
Following the move by Sodruzhestvo the feed producer Rybflotprom, which
controls 7 % of the Russian feed market and is 80 % owned by the French
company Provimi, also announced it has adopted a GE free policy for all
Both companies will soon start importing GE free soya from Brazil instead of GE soya from Argentina and the US.
"Greenpeace welcomes the move by the Russian companies it's a
significant shift in the global market towards GE free products," said
Geert Ritsema, Greenpeace International GE campaigner. "This is good
news for Russian consumers, who reject the use of GE ingredients in
their foods by an overwhelming majority of 80 %. It is yet another blow
to the global genetic engineering industry - and in particular to
Monsanto - the world's biggest seller of GE seeds."
The announcements were made at a press conference at the Greenpeace
ship Arctic Sunrise, currently in the harbour of Kaliningrad. For the
last three weeks the Arctic Sunrise was on the Baltic Sea exposing
controversial imports of GE food and feed products being imported into
The decisions by Sodruzhestvo and Rybflotprom will have a strong effect
on countries that export GE products such as the US and Argentina and
will cause a shift in the demand to countries such as Brazil where soya
and maize production is still predominantly GE free. In a written
statement Sodruzhestvo director S.L. Kandybovich explicitly stated that
his company will in the future mainly use imported soy from Brazil. "We
think that Brazil is the only country that grows GMO-free soy, whose
quality meets our criteria", his statement said.
Earlier in the year, and following a Greenpeace investigation into the
impacts of the soya trade in the Brazilian Amazon rainforests,
multinational soya traders in Brazil have agreed to a two year
moratorium on buying soya from newly deforested land in the Amazon.
Greenpeace will also ask Sodruzhestvo to support this initiative to
ensure the soya produced in Brazil does not contribute to the
deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.
Greenpeace campaigns for GE-free crop and food production that is
grounded in the principles of sustainability, protection of
biodiversity and providing all people to have access to safe and
nutritious food. Genetic engineering is an unnecessary and unwanted
technology that contaminates the environment, threatens biodiversity
and poses unacceptable risks to health.
Biggest Russian Food and Feed Importers Adopt GE Free Policy
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