Russian scientists are calling for a 10-year moratorium on GMOs to thoroughly study their influence on human health, stressing that such examinations are vital.
"It is necessary to ban GMO, to impose moratorium [on it] for 10 years. While GMO will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests, or maybe even new methods of research could be developed,” vice president of Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety, Irina Ermakova, told Interfax news agency.
According to her, there have not been enough sufficient studies on GMO influence on human health to allow for a wide introduction of genetically modified food on the market.
However, scientists say that most studies prove that such food comes along with dangerous side effects.
“It has been proved that not only in Russia, but also in many other countries in the world, GMO is dangerous. Methods of obtaining the GMO are not perfect, therefore, at this stage, all GMOs are dangerous," Ermakova said.
She went on to explain that one of the techniques uses tumor-causing soil bacteria.
"Consumption and use of GMOs obtained in such way can lead to tumors, cancers and obesity among animals," Ermakova said.
She added that doctors have seen a surge of diabetes and cancer in regions where residents have consumed larger amounts of GMO-containing food.
"Biotechnologies certainly should be developed, but GMO should be stopped. [We] should stop it from spreading,” Ermakova added.
In September, Russia endorsed the Rules for the State Registration of GMO and GMO-containing Products. The law enforces compulsory registration of all products containing GM components.
Also in September, Russian authorities temporarily suspended the import and sale of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn after a French study suggested it may be linked to cancer. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered regulatory agencies to consider a possible ban on all GMO imports into Russia.