Staunton, July 6 – Russians are facing shortages and rising prices for the food they give their pet dogs and cats and not just because of sanctions, experts say. Instead, the Russian government’s campaign against genetically modified foods is reducing supplies and especially those of foods needed by pets with health problems.
Most Russians blame the price increases and shortages on the sanctions regime and rising logistical costs, and those are playing a role in the three billion US dollar a year industry. But they are not the only causes of the problems and in the specialty food area, they are not even the dominant one.
Instead, the Russian government’s effort to exclude genetically modified foods is forcing many sellers to pull foods off the market, an effort that is hitting this sector especially hard because Moscow is using super-sensitive tests which reveal even trace amounts of GMO elements (newizv.ru/article/general/06-07-2022/ne-tolko-sanktsii-kto-vinovat-v-pereboyah-s-kormami-dlya-domashnih-zhivotnyh).
Even when the basic components of dog and cat food in Russia are domestically produced, many of the vitamin and mineral supplements in them come from abroad; and those often show infinitesimally small traces of genetically modified materials. But that is enough for Moscow to ban the foods completely.
As a result, Russian pets with special needs, including those with diabetes and cancer, cannot now get the food they need and are suffering as a result. Again, sanctions are playing a role; but it is the government’s campaign against GMOs and against foreign firms that is playing a much larger role, experts in the sector say.
One of them told Novyye izvestiya that the pet food industry in Russia will eventually adapt but that unfortunately many pet dogs and cats will suffer and die before that happens.