MOSCOW, Febraury 26 (RAPSI) - A group of senators from Russia’s Federation Council have introduced a bill seeking the prohibition of the trafficking and importation of products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Russia.

The senators propose the adoption of certain amendments to be incorporated into Russia’s law "On the quality and safety of food."

Authors of the bill have explained their position in a related memorandum: "There is an urgent need for the development of a legal framework aimed at strengthening control over the circulation of genetically modified products and the introduction of a total ban on the import of such products in Russia."

Senators fear that GMO foods can negatively affect the health of Russian citizens, but stress that this would only be a temporary ban.

The explanatory documents clarify that the ban can be lifted pending the implementation of a reliable system for the monitoring and evaluation of genetically modified products.

The Federation Council members believe that another prerequisite for the safe circulation of GMOs would be the active participation of scientists. If the scientific community can prove that GMO foods are safe for human consumption, the proposed ban would theoretically be lifted.

The memorandum tied to the bill provides statistics related to GMOs in Russia. Only 18 lines of GMOs are officially allowed in Russia at the moment. This is far lower number than in other countries, as Russian agriculture has long maintained extensive restrictions on the use of technologies related to GMOs. Senators say that because of joining the WTO, Russia markets may import numerous genetically modified products from other countries, thereby destabilizing the situation. About 60 % of Russians are currently distrustful of GMOs, according to memorandum.