Evidence of Food Products Safety Thoroughly Concealed

Feature story - 17 May, 2005
Moscow, Russian Federation – May 17, 2005. Today Greenpeace representatives asked the director of the Nutrition Institute of the Russian Academy of Science to provide results of research into biological safety of genetically modified organisms (GMO) that are at present allowed to use in Russia. These documents are supposed to be stored in the institute. However the deputy director general of Institute of Nutrition Mr. Gapparov refused to provide this information without their lawyer. Further talks are postponed till 20 of May.

Evidence of Food Products Safety Thoroughly Concealed

Six months ago, on 16 of December 2004, the Nikulinsky District Court ruled that the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation has to provide the public with documents, which were used to confirm the safety of food products with GM ingredients, as well as to carry out registration of GM plant species.

So far the Institute of Nutrition has not provided the demanded information.

Within a month Greenpeace Russia has sent several letters addressed to the director general with a request to prepare the necessary information by May 16. However, a Greenpeace representative and independent expert Ms Ermakova, PhD in biology, had to burst through the entrance checkpoint and to get a meeting with the Institute's director.

At the meeting Mr. Gapparov said that he would only talk in the presence of the lawyer. He didn't make any promises about providing results of the research at the next meeting.

"The position of the Institute of Nutrition violates rights of citizens to access to information about quality and safety of food products, which, according to Article 29 of the constitution of the Russian Federation, shall be officially open. Again we face disregard of citizens' rights", says Natalia Olefirenko, Greenpeace GE Campaign coordinator. "It seems like the research has not been carried out at all or they have not been finished yet. Another possibility is that the research proved the danger of GM products".

"If the documents are not presented, Greenpeace is going to insist on cancellation of the state registration of GMO, acknowledgment of sanitary and epidemiological conclusions as invalid and a ban on GMO in Russia".