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Russian deputy proposes garlic ban

by Anna Arutunyan at 01/04/2013 13:22


A member of the nationalist LDPR party has introduced a bill banning garlic consumption in public places, citing the herb’s negative effects on the health of Russia’s citizens and the economy.

It was not immediately clear whether the bill, which was submitted to the State Duma on Monday and registered in its database, was meant as a legislative April Fool’s joke.

Duma Deputy Sergei Ivanov proposed the bill in answer to the anti-tobacco law banning smoking in public places, which goes into effect on June 1. He confirmed that the garlic ban had been submitted and registered in Russia’s lower house of parliament.

“It can appear to be anything to anyone,” he told The Moscow News when asked if it was a joke.

The anti-garlic bill seeks to “protect the rights of citizens, such as their right to health. This is due to the high level of garlic consumption in the Russian Federation and the negative medical, demographic and economic consequences associated with it,” according to an explanatory note of the bill, posted on the State Duma’s site.

The bill would ban consumption of garlic in public places and the sale of garlic in poorly ventilated areas. It would be illegal to sell the substance to women who are pregnant or nursing, or to minors under the age of 18.

It cites adverse demographic affects of garlic consumption, stating that “every year up to several hundreds of thousands of Russians are not born due to the repulsive smell of garlic.”

The smell, according to the note, costs Russia’s GDP some 1.2 trillion rubles. “The consumption of garlic is bad for people who suffer from chronic or acute digestive illnesses,” the note states.

President Vladimir Putin signed an anti-tobacco bill into law last month, restricting smoking in public places. About 39 percent of the Russian population smokes regularly.

LDPR’s leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, said in February that he supported the ban, but suggested that eating and having sex should also be restricted because “people have too much sex, they eat, smoke and drink too much.”





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