Russia Permits Low Level Presence of GMOs in Animal Feed

Russia has said that all animal feed can now contain a low level GMO presence of up to 0.9% and still be considered biotech free.

The country’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (VPSS) has declared feed is biotech-free if 0.5 percent or less of each component contains non-registered biotech products and if 0.9 percent or less of each component contains registered biotech products.

Both ‘registered’ and ‘non-registered’ refer to the status of GMOs in Russia.

Russian authorities have made the decision after conceding low level presence of biotech substances is unavoidable. The move is sure to increase the pressure on the European Commission which has been charged with finding a ‘technical solution’ to the region’s zero tolerance approach to the presence of unapproved GMOs in feed.

The hope is that by clarifying the levels at which feed may be declared ‘GMO-free’, VPSS will harmonise interpretations at customs.

One US expert said: “Such clarification is necessary, since VPSS has many laboratories that are capable of determining slight traces of biotech components. Given that most feeds on the world market have or may have biotech components, VPSS’s new definition may encourage feed importers to register more feed as biotech.”