Moscow on the Cud Sign
Russian capital introduces label for GM-free food
Now you can have your GM-free borscht and read it, too: next week, the city of Moscow will debut a groundbreaking label for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients. Under the leadership of Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, the city has devised a voluntary system of testing and labeling that will allow products to carry a GM-free label for a year at a time. While the European Union requires producers to label food containing more than 0.9 percent GM ingredients, Moscow’s plan is, say observers, the first of its kind: “It’s very important for the rest of the world to watch Moscow,” says Greenpeace GM researcher Natalia Olefirenko. Some food companies are pitching a fit; said one, “It involves special testing, special packaging, and the costs will be passed on to the consumer.” But their protests aren’t fazing Luzhkov, who supports federal legislation that would restrict the production and sale of GM foods, and has urged President Vladimir Putin to set up a commission to research the issue.