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Russia Suspends Import of Monsanto Corn on Health Concerns

Russia has temporarily suspended the import and sales of Monsanto Co.’s genetically-modified NK 603 corn until the country gets further information on the safety of the products, the consumer safety watchdog said.

The watchdog, known as Rospotrebnadzor, asked scientists at Russia’s Institute of Nutrition to review a French study, which raised questions about the long-term effect of St. Louis-based Monsanto’s NK 603 corn on rats, according to a statement on Rospotrebnadzor’s website yesterday.

The safety of NK 603 corn is “well established,” spokesman Tom Helscher wrote in an e-mailed statement. “Russia is a net exporter of grain so the actual impact of their temporary suspension, if any, is likely to be small.”

Russia separately asked European Commission authorities to comment on the situation after the research was published, according to the watchdog. France asked its national food-security agency Anses to examine the study last week.

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