As Russia aims to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), it is sweetening the deal by offering to drop its restrictions on genetically modified crops for food and feed.
In the coming weeks, Congress will be presented with a choice of whether it should stand up against human-rights abuses in Russia, or support greater access for U.S. companies to Russia's more than 142 million consumers. Russia's legislative body, the Duma, will take up the ratification of its WTO accession July 4.
Cultivation of transgenic crops has been prohibited in Russia and products containing 0.9 percent of GMO ingredients must be specially marked.
The Russian Federal Service on Surveillance for Consumer rights protection and human well-being (Rospotrebnadzor) have proposed to completely lift restrictions on the use of genetic modification technologies in the cultivation of agricultural crops in Russia.
“In order to ensure protection of public health, food and environmental safety, Russian scientists should create GMO lines adapted to grow in Russia, and to introduce it into agricultural sector," the service said in a statement.
The Federal Service has been looking to models used by the United States, Brazil and Argentina, where GM crops have been permitted.