Southern Crop

Southern Crop

Russian Federation: Agricultural Biotechnology Annual 2016

Russia – Regulation of Ag Biotech Crops and Food – The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service has issued its 2016 Biotechnology Annual Report for the Russian Federation which states that “… on July 3, 2016, Russia adopted FL 358-FZ, which prohibits the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) plants and the breeding of genetically engineered animals on the territory of the Russian Federation. In addition, FL 358-FZ provides for stronger state monitoring and control of the processing and the importation of GE organisms and products derived from such organisms, and sets penalties for violations of this federal law … Currently twelve corn lines, eight soybean lines, one rice line, and one sugar beet line are registered for food use in Russia and in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Two potato lines are registered for food use only in Russia. Eleven corn lines and eight soybean lines are registered for feed use. The registration for feed use is only granted for five years, and the registration period for the two corn lines expires in December 2016. These lines were submitted for re-registration, but given the de-facto suspension of registration for feed use, the registration renewal is unclear …”

Web site: Source: December 9, 2016 USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) GAIN Report, titled “Russian Federation: Agricultural Biotechnology Annual 2016”, which was released to the public on April 3, 2017 and posted at
http://www.fas.usda.gov/data/russia-agricultural-biotechnology-annual-1
* Specifically at
http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Agricultural%20Biotechnology%20Annual_Moscow_Russian%20Federation_4-3-2017.pdf

Contact: Questions may be directed to the USDA FAS Office of Agricultural Affairs in Moscow, Russia at (011-7-495) 728-5222

Summary: The following information is taken from the February 15, 2017 USDA FAS GAIN Report:

Section I. Executive Summary:

Over the last several years, there have been numerous heated public discussions and various federal legislative drafts considered regarding the use of plant and animal biotechnology. Finally, on July 3, 2016, Russia adopted the Federal Law 358-FZ (FL 358); “On amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation concerning improvement of the state regulation in the sphere of genetic engineering activities,” which prohibits the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) plants and the breeding of GE animals on the territory of the Russian Federation. In addition, FL 358-FZ provides for stronger state monitoring and control of the processing and the importation of GE organisms and products derived from such organisms, and sets penalties for violations of this federal law (http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Russia%20Bans%20Cultivation%20and%20Breeding%20of%20GE%20Crops%20and%20Animal_Moscow_Russian%20Federation_7-12-2016.pdf )

Since FL 358 was passed, the agencies responsible for the regulation of GE products initiated updating their regulations. FL 358 requires that all regulatory updates be completed by July 1, 2017, including amendments to the current regulatory documents on GE registration for food and for feed, when the prescribed penalties come into force. The date of July 1, 2017, was set as the deadline under Russian Government Resolution 839 for the development of a mechanism for the registration of GE crops for cultivation (http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/GMO%20Registration%20for%20Cultivation%20Postponed%20_Moscow_Russian%20Federation_6-27-2014.pdf ). Intended registration of GE crops for cultivation and the actual registration of GE crops for feed use has been under the authority of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (VPSS). The changes made by FL 358 stopped development of a mechanism for registration of GE crops for cultivation. Moreover, FL 358 resulted in a de-facto suspension of registration of new GE lines for feed use.

Currently twelve corn lines, eight soybean lines, one rice line, and one sugar beet line are registered for food use in Russia and in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Two potato lines are registered for food use only in Russia. Eleven corn lines and eight soybean lines are registered for feed use. The registration for feed use is only granted for five years, and the registration period for the two corn lines expires in December 2016. These lines were submitted for re-registration, but given the de-facto suspension of registration for feed use, the registration renewal is unclear.

The anti-GE campaign has also stimulated legislative authorities to draft amendments on labeling requirements for GE food products. These requirements are regulated by the EAEU’s Technical Regulation (TR) on food labeling and may be adopted only on the consent of the member-states of the Eurasian Economic Union. (http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Draft%20TBT%20Measure%20on%20Food%20Labeling%20Notified%20to%20WTO_Moscow_Russian%20Federation_5-25-2016.pdf ). To date, no new measures have been adopted.

Journalists in Russia often report of consumer concerns with GE products. Some food companies voluntarily label their products as “Does not contain GMO,” and prefer purchasing non-GE raw materials. Companies must engage testing on their own to confirm the absence of GE materials and there is no government authority supervision. These products are usually more expensive than comparable products that may contain GE components. Given the decreasing incomes of Russian consumers during the period 2014 to 2016, price is the dominant concern now for both food processors and consumers.

There is no information on the research in the field of GE animals and cloning. FL 358-FZ prohibits breeding of GE animals on the territory of the Russian Federation.

(Note: All Russian legislative and regulatory documents use the term “GMO” (genetically modified organisms) or “GMM” (genetically modified microorganisms) instead of genetically engineered (GE) organisms/microorganisms. Therefore, throughout this report, when referring to language in those documents, we will default to the terms as used in the document.)

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