The obstacles created by administrative reform of 2004, which provides the legislative basis for research, testing, study, approval, and registration of genetically engineered agricultural and food products, have not been changed. Crop registration for import and food use resumed at the end of 2005, but registration procedures are complicated. Registration of crops for use in feed and registration of biotech feeds have not yet resumed.
Many different pieces of legislation address genetically modified plants in Russia. Consequently, a wide range of authorities are involved. Co-existence is not yet a topic.
GMO regulation in Russia is currently in limbo as discussed above as there is no political leadership or interest. The Ministry of Energy has assumed much of the technical aspects of GMO regulation from the Ministry of Science and Education, but is not conducting any biosafety evaluation of GMOs. Food safety is within the mandate of the Ministry of Health, and feed safety is controlled by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The state regulation for genetic engineering in 1996 (amended in 2000) mandated the development of the GMO Commission and the InterAgency Commission on Genetic Engineering (IACGEA) in 1997. The IACGEA was re-established in May 2005, and consists of the Ministry of Education and Science (chair), as well as deputy chairs from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Natural Resources, and the “Bioengineering” Centre from the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Under the state regulation for genetic engineering, 78 regional biosafety commissions were also established.
However the IACGEA has not officially reported on its meetings or on any decisions for some time and is basically non-operational. There has been very limited activity by the regional biosafety commissions except in response to some experimental requests.