Russia is cautious about GM foods

October 25, 2005

Russian scientists say they must study the implications of genetically modified food before such food is widely introduced in their nation.

"Genetically modified plants and animals may cause completely unexpected processes and consequences," Irina Yermakova, a senior scientist at the Institute for Higher Neural Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said. She made the statement during a seminar Tuesday at a science conference in Moscow.

The scientist called for more extensive research into the impact of GM organisms on people, the Novosti news agency reported. She said an experiment, which involved feeding rats GM soy, had revealed high mortality rates and growth retardation among offspring. Yermakova also proposed a ban on imports of transgenic products.

Those attending the seminar called for adoption of safety requirements for GM foods and mechanisms to verify compliance with such requirements, RIA Novosti said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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