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'Russia Puts GMO Genie Back in the Bottle'

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

Russia has some of the most precious uncontaminated top soil on the planet and if it is rigorously controlled to stay GMO-free and free from chemicals its productivity would increase as Europe declines, geopolitical analyst William Engdahl told RT.

Russian PMs have pondered a draft bill outlawing GMOs. A draft bill submitted to the Russian parliament likens GMO production and distribution to terrorism. After entering the World Trade Organization, Russia was expected to allow GM food production and distribution within its market. However, in March Russia's President Putin said the country would stay GM-free without violating its obligations to the WTO.

RT: What do you think about this latest bill in Russia's parliament, which equates GM producers who flout the rules with terrorists. Is that a bit over the top?

William Engdahl: The language on Russian media blogs is [that] punishment for knowingly introducing GMO crops into Russia illegally should have a punishment comparable to that given to terrorists for knowingly hurting people. The direction of this is anything that stops, and puts the genie back in the bottle called genetic manipulation of plants and organisms is to the good for the future of the mankind. The comment about 20 percent of harvest increase in some GMOs is absolute rubbish. There is no long-term harvest gain that has been proven for GMO crops anywhere in the world because they are not modified to get harvest increases. So this is just soap bubbles that Monsanto, Syngenta and GMO giants are putting out to loll the public into thinking it is something good.

RT: Will this measure, if adopted, reduce the number of GM products on the market?

WE: I hope it does. I haven't got access to the paragraphs of legislation but I think the direction that Prime Minister Medvedev indicated two-three months ago in terms of making this U-turn against GMO that seemed to have a green light after WTO. A year ago it was looking like GMO was a common thing in Russia which would be a catastrophe. I think the point is Russia has some of the most precious non-destroyed top soil on this planet and the richness of this top soil, if it is rigorously controlled to be GMO-free, to be free from chemicals, from Roundup or Atrazyne which is Syngenta's favorite poison, and is marketed on the world markets as certified organic. Russia has a huge export market in Germany, in Western Europe, the European Union and elsewhere because there is a tremendous lack of it. So anything that Russia does to block GMO, keep in mind, the EU has not certified for commercial planting any GMO for years. There is such a great popular opposition in the EU that Monsanto, despite all the proclivities of the corrupt European Commission in Brussels to go with it, or even some people in the German government. The population is absolutely adamant here, they do not want this in their food.     
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