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Russian ombudsman calls to amend law to encourage manufacturers to donate unsold foods

May 30, 2016, 14:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Under the current laws, VAT is recovered when unsold foods are disposed of

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© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Russian children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said on Monday it would be right to amend the current laws to make it more paying for the manufacturer to donate unsold unperished foods to the poor than to dispose of them.

Under the current laws, VAT is recovered when unsold foods are disposed of. "I don’t think it is right. I believe the ministry of agriculture, which is responsible for food products, might undertake this mission and initiate such amendments that would make it more paying for the manufacturer to deal out to people good foods that happen to enjoy no demand, to be unsold, etc. Such a system exists elsewhere in the world, as far as I know. And it would be right to offer a privilege for that," he said at a briefing ahead of the International Day for Protection of Children.

He said an action in support to families with many children has been underway in Moscow for the past two months. Low-income families with many children are offered fermented dairy foods free of charge. Last week, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture took a decision to organize a similar action and to provide food products to low-income families.

"I think it is right that we have set such an example. Later today, I will try to discuss this subject with [Russian minister of agriculture] Alexander Tkachev - they can do it on their own or in collaboration with us, but this action will be continued. But there are legislative problems we have accidentally spotted. It has never crossed my mind but we have the following phenomenon: it is more advantageous to dispose of food products that have not passed their use-by date but happen to enjoy no demand or be manufactured in excess than to donate them to people," Astakhov said.

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