According to a federal program announced in 2019, some gene editing techniques will be exempt from a 2016 law that banned the cultivation of genetically engineered organisms except for research purposes. The decree establishing the program describes gene editing as equivalent to conventional breeding methods, the view adopted by most of the world except for the European Union. The federal program aims to create 10 new varieties of gene edited crops and animals by 2020 and another 20 by 2027.
Genetically engineered organisms are regulated by the Federal Service for Surveillance of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor), which is responsible for developing legislation on genetically engineered products and monitoring the influence of genetically engineered products on people and the environment and the Ministry of Agriculture, which develops policy for the use of genetically engineered organisms in agriculture.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has its own Working Group on Harmonization of Regulatory Oversight in Biotechnology, but there has been no progress in addressing issues around gene editing in many major food-producing countries, including Russia.
2020: Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin signs new Food Security Doctrine, which bans import and distribution of genetically engineered organisms for planting, and prohibits raising and breeding animals whose genetic code has been engineered. The only exception to the ban is the import and planting/breeding of genetically engineered organisms for research purposes.
2019: Federal gene editing program established to create 10 new varieties of gene-edited crops and animals by 2020 and another 20 by 2027 and estimated to cost 111-billion-rouble (US$1.7-billion). The decree announcing the program describes gene editing technologies as equivalent to conventional breeding methods.
2018: Ministry of Agriculture publishes first draft of a set of proposed guidelines for the required safety assessments and testing of genetically engineered animals.
2017: Russian Federation issues Resolution No. 770, On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 839, implementing Federal Law No 358, which bans breeding of genetically engineered animals and amends Russia’s framework of rules for the registration of genetically engineered organisms.
2016: Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin signs Federal Law No. 358-Z that bans breeding of genetically modified animals, except for research purposes.The law formalizes the previous de-facto ban resulting from the lack of a regulatory framework. It defines GMOs as those with gene modifications “that cannot result from natural processes.” The regulation is unclear about whether gene edited animals are included in the ban.
2002: Adopts Federal Law No. 7-FZ, On Protection of the Environment.
1996: Adopts Federal Law No. 86-FZ, On the State Regulation in the Sphere of Genetic Engineering Activities. The foundational federal law on genetic engineering in Russia establishes state control over the release of genetically engineered organisms into the environment and monitoring of effects on the environment and on human health.
NGOs, including Greenpeace Russia and the Alliance of the Commonwealth of Independent States for Biosafety, campaign against agricultural genetic engineering, including gene editing, in an attempt to influence consumer choices. According to Russia Today, about 80 percent of Russians opposes legalization of GMOs.