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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lawmakers Shun U.S. Biotech Food

WASHINGTON -- Russia will not buy genetically modified crops from the United States nor do they need any, a delegation of agricultural lawmakers said Friday in Washington.

Valery Kechkin, one of three visiting Federation Council members, said the parliament would not approve the purchase of U.S. biotech crops "unless there was such a desperate need to justify it."

"We are not poor enough to go that far," Kechkin told reporters through an interpreter.

"We give priority to ecologically pure products that are known on the basis of traditional technology."

The delegation met with Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Richard Lugar and U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Gus Schumacher during a weeklong leadership exchange program between the two countries.

Vladimir Beketov, Federation Council member, said U.S. food aid to Russia was not discussed in the meetings.