Russia Says Fifa Investigator Garcia Unwelcome

Per the website GM Watch: The order is addressed to Rospotrebnadzor, the Health Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry, and the Trade and Economic Development Ministry. They are ordered to “submit proposals on amendments to the Russian legislation aimed at tightening control over the turnover of products containing components obtained from GMOs together with the relevant federal executive bodies.” ‘Russia is currently taking a hard line on GMOs’ The Russian agencies have also been instructed to submit proposals “on the possibility of banning the import of such products into the Russian Federation.” Medvedev’s order came after a similar directive was issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin following a meeting on the socio-economic development of the Rostov region Sept. 18. Medvedev’s orders were posted on the government’s website and reported by the Russia-based Interfax News Agency. “Russia is currently taking a hard line on GMOs – in August the first independent project for identifying whether Russian farmers are growing illegal GM crops started in the Belgorod region,” GM Watch reported. Russian authorities have been on the lookout for illegal GM crops. Recently, the country’s National Association for Genetic Safety (NAGS) conducted its first checks of crops for the presence of GMOs, but none were found in any Belgorod fields. “We remind you that currently, according to the law in Russia , 19 GM lines are allowed in foodstuffs, but the cultivation of GMOs is not allowed,” said GM Watch. After its admission into the World Trade Organization, Russia became obligated to simplify the procedure for registering GM crops, products and feed, seek to stop their safety checks and end controls over their distribution, the GM Watch site reported. A year ago, as Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, reported, Russia banned all imports of GM corn, following an earlier study by French researchers which showed that rats grew massive cancer tumors when fed a lifetime of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. “The Russian ban is the latest blow to Monsanto, a company desperately clinging to the myth that its genetically modified crops are ‘no different’ than traditional crops and therefore long-term safety testing is completely unnecessary,” Adams wrote, adding that Monsanto criticized the French study but did not duplicate the duration of it in its own testing. French researchers conducted their study over a two-year period, while Monsanto’s study lasted only 90 days.

Garcia, Chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee attends a news conference at the at the Home of FIFA in Zurich July 27, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Michael Buholzer By Steve Gutterman MOSCOW | Fri Oct 4, 2013 1:25am BST MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia made clear on Thursday that FIFA’s chief investigator Michael Garcia is barred from entering the country because he is one of the Americans blacklisted in a bitter dispute with the United States over human rights. Garcia is stepping up his inquiry into voting procedures for the 2018 and 2022 football World Cups. He plans to visit every country directly involved in the voting for the finals awarded to Russia for 2018 and Qatar for 2022. But Garcia, a former U.S. federal prosecutor, is on a blacklist Moscow issued in June after Washington named 18 Russians barred from the United States for alleged involvement in lawyer Sergei Magnitsky’s death or other gross rights abuses. Garcia is barred from Russia because of his role in the prosecution of Viktor Bout, a Russian who was long wanted by U.S. authorities on suspicion of arms trafficking and is now serving a 25-year prison term in the United States. Russia’s “Guantanamo List” includes Americans it accuses of involved in torture at prisons and those involved in what it says have been the unfair, politically motivated arrests of Bout and other Russians by U.S. authorities. “Let there be no doubt: We intend to react firmly to unfriendly attacks and unceremonious infringements on the rights of Russian citizens,” the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. “Anyone who is involved in such things should think hard.” The ministry said the United States would be to blame for any consequences of Garcia’s inability to enter Russia. “Questions arising in connection with visa blacklists should be addressed to the initiators and executors of the extraterritorial and discriminatory ‘Magnitsky Act’, which contradicts norms of international law,” it said. (Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Russia charges 14 Greenpeace activists with piracy

They have complained of cold, smoke-filled cells, and a lack of suitable clothing and food, Irina Paikacheva, the head of a state-linked prisoners’ rights watchdog, told AFP. A handout picture taken on September 29, 2013 and released by Greenpeace International shows environ The Netherlands, the icebreaker’s flag country, last month urged Moscow to release the activists and said it was considering legal action. The charges sparked an outrage among rights activists, with Amnesty International saying they “make a mockery of the Russian justice system.” Maritime expert Mikhail Voitenko said that the activists might have deserved hooliganism charges, but that the piracy accusations were likely to damage Russia. “You have to be mentally deficient and inept to label their attempt to protest at the Prirazlomnaya ‘piracy,'” he wrote. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that the government may toughen up punishment for trespassing at energy infrastructure. Greenpeace held a similar protest at the same oil platform last year without incurring any punishment. The unusually tough charges are likely to generate new controversy as Russia gears up to host the Winter Olympics in February already overshadowed by claims of gay rights abuse. Since returning to the Kremlin for a third term as president last year, Putin has sought to reassert his control over the country after huge protests in the winter of 2011-12. Last month, Putin pledged to fiercely protect Russia from foreign influence, saying its sovereignty and independence were “red lines” that could not be crossed. On Saturday, state television broadcast a smear documentary claiming Greenpeace served US corporate interests and made huge profits staging protests against Russian industries. Politics & Government BEIJING (AP) President Barack Obama has called off a trip to Asia just as China’s president is being feted in regional capitals ahead of summits where the U.S. no-show will give China a chance to shine and boost its influence.