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EUROPE: RUSSIA, WILLING TO DEVELOP AGRI-BIOTECH

Date : 24 August 2012

In the recent USDA FAS GAIN Report on Russia's Agri-biotechnology, the country has passed on April 24, 2012 the Comprehensive Program for Development of Biotechnology in the Russian Federation through 2010 or BIO 2020. The document sets targets to create a biotech oriented economy by 2020 to be at par with both developed and developing countries in the development and use of biotechnology.

However, it is not yet clear what government agency may coordinate the biosafety approval of biotech crops for cultivation. With the strong push of the government to utilize biotechnology, the anti-GMO public campaign slowed down in the beginning of 2012 and GMO labeling became more relaxed. Several initiatives pointed to Russia's positive move towards biotechnology: the hosting of the APEC's High Level Policy Dialogue on Biotechnology in May 2012; and in July 2012, the Russian Government adopted the State Program on Development of Agriculture through 2020. The latter includes biotechnology as one of the priorities of technological and innovation policy of the Ministry of Agriculture.