Russia lowers label threshold for GM material in food

June 1, 2004, as reported by Russia will introduce tighter labeling laws for genetically modified foods according to reports of recent comments by Russian officials. Under the new rule, the current labeling threshold of 5% GM material will be abandoned and a drastically lowered limit will be set.

Beginning next week all foods containing more than 0.9% GM material will require a label, reported Agence France Presse.

According to Natalya Olefirenko, of the Russian arm of environmental lobby group Greenpeace, the labelling rules are ineffective.

"The methods being adopted by Russia to identify the presence of GMOs are old and not effective," Olefirenko was quoted by AFP as saying.

"The definition of GMO levels vary and each enterprise can interpret the new regulations as it sees fit," she added.

Greenpeace said the rules do not apply to animal feed or to foods imported from the US into Russia.