Russian Academic: Genetically modified food is not harmful

GM crops have been grown for the last twenty years but in that time nobody has managed to prove that 'improved foodstuffs' are harmful to people's health. This was announced yesterday by Alexander Panin, an academic at the Russian Academy of Agricultural Science, at the international conference Genetically modified foodstuffs: assessment of safety, legislation and marketing. He added 'GM foodstuffs are completely harmless according to contemporary research.'

According to Mr Panin there are now 60 million hectares of land in the world where genetically modified crops are grown. 66% of this land in the US and 21% in Argentina. American farmers supply 77.7 million tonnes of genetically modified soy to the world market every year and 12 million tonnes are exported to EU countries. In Russia, however, GM crops are still not grown. 'Admittedly, we do have seven trial fields already cordoned off by barbed wire,' Mr Panin conceded.

Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Science Lev Ernst shares Mr Panin's enthusiasm. 'We destroyed genetics in the forties, then we destroyed cybernetics and as a result we are fifty years behind the rest of the world in these areas,' he said.

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