Major Russian food companies ending use of gene-altered substances

Two major Russian businesses--Ostankino Meat Processing (Moscow) and Darya (Saint Petersburg)-have announced that they no longer will make use of genetically altered material in their products, Rosbalt has been told by the Russian office of Greenpeace, the environmental activist organization. Greenpeace said independent checks carried out by ecologists had found that more than half of all food products sold in Moscow stores contain genetically altered material. It further said that shoppers have essentially no way of knowing whether an item they are considering contains genetically altered material. In the wake of these findings, Ostankino and Darya tightened their policies and said they would no longer deal with suppliers whose products are in any degree genetically altered.

Greenpeace said it had established that 30%-50% of food products sold in Russia contain soy products with genetically altered protein. In qualitative terms, genetically modified protein sometimes constitutes 75%-80% of the protein in soy products sold in Russia. Meat- and fish-processing firms (producers of sausage, children's food, for example) sometimes use recipes that call for soy products to make up 25% to 65% of the final product.

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