Reasons why Russia has not developed Agricultural Biotechnology
Many nations all over the world have banned farmers from growing GMO crops. Only 26 nations currently grow genetically modified crops. The nations that banned the production of GMOs got attention in 2015 when the European Union nations blocked the production of new GMO crops. But Russia decided to ban both the importation and cultivation of GMOs. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russian Federation signed a law that prohibited the production of genetically modified crops and animals in July 2016, except in scientific research instances.
The farmers, environmental organizations, and other Russian society representatives greatly influenced this decision that was made by the Russian government. They were worried about the unreliable scientific research on the long-term effects of GMO on the environmental and the effects of GMO food on human health.
Russian citizens’ health might not be the main reason for the GMO ban. Russia has been trying to rebrand its agricultural commodities as organic and GMO-free after the ban. This may be because Russia has greater strategic and economic desires as well. Their decisions are well thought and structured. Reason being, restricting the cultivation of GMO to scientific research only, banning GMO imports, and allowing the cultivation of GMO-free plants maybe a new strategy to increase Russia’s agricultural profits. Aleksandr Petrikov, the deputy agricultural minister, said that the ban and restrictions could give them greater economic benefits if Russia decided to become the head producer of GMO-free products. Russia might need to meet international demands as the main distributor of organic foods and ingredients with anti-GMO campaigns spreading all over the world.
Effects of the import prohibition to the European Union
European Union exports to Russia vary among countries. Beverages, dairy, and milk being the most vital categories. France, Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands are the largest exporters of food and drinks to Russia. This fact implies that these countries are more likely to be impacted than the others.
Among the banned products, vegetables, cheese, and fruits registered significant export loses while milk powder and butter preserved a moderate stability. Russia exports 19% of its butter and imports 27% of Europe’s cheese thus the dairy industry is endangered at the moment because the demand is low while production has been high. This issue has resulted in the reduction of world wholesale prices and has affected the price paid to the farmers by the processors. An increase in the supply of domestic can hit the prices making it difficult for Ditch dairies. The Finnish dairy industry also depends on the exports to Russia.
Among the industries that might be hit are the Polish apple producers and the Latvian cheese industry. Campaigns are carried out in Poland to encourage people to feed on homegrown fruits. Finally, the overall export in the meat sector (beef and poultry) showed relatively moderate losses and gains. The losses on the Russian market in the pork sector were neutralized by an increase of exports to Asia. The fruit and vegetable export loses were partially balanced by an increase in vegetables and fruits preparations for export, apple juice in particular. This act reduced the effect in categories as a whole.