Moscow introduces GM-free label

Published: Tuesday 31 July 2007

Moscow recently announced that all genetically modified (gm) food in the city will now have a city-wide label. Ecologists welcomed the move while producers called it a complex and expensive exercise. After an inspection, producers will have the right to carry Moscow's gm-free label for a year.

Greenpeace too welcomed the norm calling it the first large-scale political effort to introduce such a system, since only a handful of individual food producers around the world use labels certifying their food is free of gm elements. Around 80 per cent of Russian produce contain no genetically enhanced ingredients against only about 20 per cent in the European Union (eu) and other richer countries.

Meanwhile, producers complain that all this means added costs."It involves special testing, special packaging and the costs will be passed on to the consumer," said Alexei Popovichev, head of Rusbrand which represents producers like Nestl and Kraft.

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