A draft law submitted to the Russian parliament seeks to impose punishment up to criminal prosecution to producers of genetically-modified organisms harmful to health or the environment.
The draft legislation submitted on Wednesday amends Russia’s law regulating GMOs and some other laws and provides for disciplinary action against individuals and firms, which produce or distribute harmful biotech products and government officials who fail to properly control them.
At worst, a criminal case may be launched against a company involved in introducing unsafe GMOs into Russia. Sponsors of the bill say that the punishment for such deeds should be comparable to the punishment allotted to terrorists, if the perpetrators act knowingly and hurt many people.
“When a terrorist act is committed, only several people are usually hurt. But GMOs may hurt dozens and hundreds. The consequences are much worse. And punishment should be proportionate to the crime,” co-author Kirill Cherkasov, member of the State Duma Agriculture Committee told RT.
Russian criminal code allows for a punishment starting with 15 years in jail and up to a life sentence for terrorism.
Less severe misdeeds related to GMOs would be punishable by fines. For instance the administrative code would provide for up to 20,000 rubles (US$560) in fines for failure to report an incident of environmental pollution, which would also cover harmful GMO contamination, if sponsors of the bill have their way. …