Russian President Vladimir Putin has told the Russian Parliament that Russia should become the world’s largest supplier of organic foods, in a message released to the media on Thursday.
“Not only can we ourselves eat it, but also taking into account our land and water – which is particularly important – resources Russia could become the world’s largest supplier of healthy, environmentally friendly, high-quality food that has long been missing in some western producers,” Putin stated.
“Especially as the demand on the global market for such products is growing,” he continued.
As Putin said, it is necessary to have a nationwide approach on the issue and also by 2020 to fully meet the Russian demand for locally produced Russian food.
2015 has been a year of change in Russian agriculture with the Russian government announcing a whole new approach to food production and labeling.
In January 2015 Putin signed the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences into law, including a new article establishing liability for the violation of mandatory requirements for the labeling of food products that contain GMOs.
The bill which was submitted by the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) imposes fines for vague or unclear labeling on food products containing genetically modified ingredients.
In June, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has announced that Russia will not use genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to increase productivity in agriculture, while he was speaking on Friday at a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
“Russia has chosen a different path. We will not use these technologies”, he said.
As a result of this decision Russian products will be “one of the cleanest in the world” in terms of technology use, Dvorkovich continued. A bill for a full ban on the cultivation of GM crops is currently going through the State Duma.
Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov also believes that Russia must remain a GMO-free country. At a meeting of deputies representing rural areas organized by United Russia, he said that the government will not “poison their citizens.”