26 May 2020
Clean soybean – to abroad, GM-soybean – to Russia
The RF Government set a task to increase the volume of Fat&Oil raw materials production – from 21 mln t to 35, 5 mln t. This is a long-term perspective of the sector up to 2024. However, the RF Government Decree of 16 April 2020 made the situation of Russian oilseeds processors and agrarians more difficult, because the national raw materials – non-GMO soybean and products of its processing automatically became uncompetitive in front of GM-products from Latin America and Europe.
Prime cost of GM-soybean, in spite of the logistics from far abroad, is less than prime cost of the national clean soybean. Growing genetically modified sorts agrarians within the season apply 2-3 herbicide. With transgenic soybean the problem is solve easier: to destroy weeds it is necessary to treat seedlings with burn-down preparation 1-2 times. Such preparations are made on the base of glyphosate that makes GM-soybean growing technology much easier increasing at the same time the risk of its falling into food products and animal feeds. The marking «GMO-free» at food products doesn’t guarantee its absence at all because there is no traceability of the all chain of production of meat, milk etc. Official permission to import GM-products will aggravate the situation and influence negatively on the health of people and animals. While «GMO-free» marking at any meat, eggs and milk becomes meaningless.
In mass media there is a range of scientific articles that link intensive using of glyphosate with nervous diseases progression, kidney dysfunction, cancer and diabetes, fat metabolism violation etc. In Brazil, the USA and Europe there were courts related to lawsuits against producers of this herbicide with the evidence base on caused harm to people’s health. Official statistics demonstrates that in leading countries producing soybean - Argentina and Brazil from 1966 to 2014 using of glyphosate was increasing reaching in the last years 3-4 kg/ha. It almost twice overpasses recommended norms of using of herbicide on the base of glyphosate amounting to 1.72 kg/ha.
«In the last several years we and our colleagues have worked hardly to develop soybean breeding in the Central regional of our country. They received notable results in this sector: soybean gross collection in regions of the Central Federal District reached last year 2,1 mln mts. All soybean in our fields is clean without GMO. It is a big common work with breeders and agrarians. With permission on import of GMO soybean and products of its processing all our work will be set to zero because agricultural producers to whom we invested and sold the seeds can’t compete with GM-soybean in the cost. They just won’t be able to realize their yield within the country in autumn. We will be forced to buy GM-soybeans for processing. It means that all animal and poultry breeders will also switch to genetically modified ingredients for feeds», - Mikhail Hohlov, director of the Oil raw materials Division of EFKO Group comments.
Within last years sowing areas for soybean in the RF have increased almost twice: in 2013 – 1 537 thous ha, in 2019 – 3 039 thous ha. Soybean gross collection in the RF also grows: in 2017 – 3 622 thous mts, in 2019 – 4 360 thous mts. Today soybean is grown in 40 regions, krais and republics; in 7 Federal districts of the RF. Main regions growing soybean in Russia are Amur, Belgorod and Kursk regions, Primorsky and Krasnodar Krai.
The paradox is that agrarians will be forced to sell national clean soybean abroad while within the country genetically modified soybean will be consumed.