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Russia Leads Organic Revolution as US Embraces GMOs, Drops Meat Regulations

Russia aims to be the world's top exporter of non-GMO food. Meanwhile, in America...

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Russia made a bold ecological and civilizational choice when, in September, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich announced that "as far as genetically-modified organisms are concerned, we have made the decision not to use any GMO in food productions."

In layman's terms: This means that Russians don't need to worry about headlines such as "Monsanto Pressures WHO and California Not to List Glyphosate as a Carcinogen" or "59 Indigenous Corn Varieties at Risk as Monsanto Eyes Mexico".

<figcaption>Russia and the US are at opposite ends of the GMO debate. And with good reason.</figcaption>
Russia and the US are at opposite ends of the GMO debate. And with good reason.

But Russia's decision to embrace organic food is not just about keeping its people healthy: Putin declared last month that Russia wants to become the world's largest exporter of non-GMO produce:

“We are not only able to feed ourselves taking into account our lands, water resources—Russia is able to become the largest world supplier of healthy, ecologically clean and high-quality food which the Western producers have long lost, especially given the fact that demand for such products in the world market is steadily growing,” he said.

Putin also said that in the last decade, Russia has gone from importing half of its food to becoming a net exporter. Putin claims that Russia now makes more money from selling food than from selling weapons and fuel.

Meanwhile, in deregulated, GMO America:

The way meat is produced in the US is already highly shrouded in mystery: from corporations that to laws that prevent people from exposing what slaughterhouses even look like.

But a recently repealed law has made American meat even more mysterious: Americans no longer have the right to known where their meat comes from. So much mystery meat, so little time: 

According to the Associated Press, Congress at the end of 2015 repealed a labeling policy, the Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law, that required retailers to explicitly state the country of origin on all red meat. In other words, beef and pork packages in the US will no longer be required to bear a label saying where the animal originally came from—meaning that consumers will have less information about the product they are buying.

The bill was called a "a holiday gift to the meatpacking industry from Congress," according to Food and Water Watch.

Perhaps it's time for a sequel to The Jungle? Someone go dig up Upton Sinclair. Until then, buy Russian.

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