According to a news source, the Russian Supreme Court has denied a chal- lenge filed by environmental groups to government Decree No. 839, which will allow the registration of genetically modified (GM) crops and products containing GM ingredients beginning July 1, 2014. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed the decree in late September 2013, and the groups filed their court challenge in December. They also wrote to President Vladimir Putin, asking for him to prohibit the cultivation of GM crops in the country. The Russian Supreme Court press service reportedly indicated that under the Code of Civil Procedure government actions “can only be contested if they are in effect and . . . give some rights and duties to citizens and legal entities at the time they are contested.”
National Association of Genetic Safety Director Yelena Sharoikina reportedly said, “It turns out that the Supreme Court suggests that we should wait for the moment when Russians’ rights to health and safe environment are violated before contesting Decree No. 839. However, I believe that we still have a chance to stop the cultivation of GM in Russia until reliable information proving that these technologies are safe to humans are obtained.”The groups are also apparently concerned that foreign products that protect GM cereal crops will take over the domestic market. See SustainablePulse.com, December 19, 2013; Russia & India Report, January 16, 2014; Interfax.com, January 21, 2014.