The Russian government has passed a bill which predicts heavy fines for entrepreneurs who neglect the rules for marking GMO products. The bill has been introduced by the state consumer rights agency Rospotrebnadzor and addresses all foods and drinks containing GMO or GMO-related components.The fines vary between 20,000 and 150,000 rubles (US$555-$4150). Control commissions can also confiscate products that have been incorrectly stamped.
Russian officials and legislators have previously alerted about the lack of limitations on the turnover or production of GMO products. They concluded that a temporary ban on all genetically-altered products in the country is needed.
Different government agencies signal that according to the rules of WTO (which Russia joined in 2012),trade restrictions can be imposed only on products that have been scientifically proven dangerous. They also brought to attention the statistics regarding the share of GMO in Russian industry. According to them, the share of GMO has declined from 12% to just 0.01% over the past 10 years.
Yet, the majority of Russian lawmakers demand for a change in the existing law on Safety and Quality of Alimentary Products. The law concerns the maximum allowed content of transgenic and genetically modified elements. Politicians are pushing for making this norm zero for all Russian produced foods.
The current Russian law demands visible signification on all goods that contain 0.9% or more of GMO by weight. There are currently 57 registered food products that contain GMO in Russia.
In February this year , Prime Minister D.Medvedev expressed his concern about the GMO issues during a dedicated government session. He launched the idea of a Russian research base for genetically-modified organisms that will provide the authorities with proficient information and help conclude important decisions regarding the GMO use in the country.