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Deputy Says Garlic Bill Was Joke 'With an Element of Truth'

A State Duma deputy has admitted that a bill banning garlic that he submitted to the parliament was an April Fools' joke.

Sergei Ivanov, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, presented legislation Monday warning that garlic has negative "medical, demographic and socio-economic consequences." The bill sought to ban garlic from most private and public buildings, including workplaces, apartment buildings, sporting and cultural facilities, and schools and universities.

Late Monday, however, several media outlets noticed that the bill had disappeared from the Duma's register of pending legislation, prompting many to believe it had been an April Fools' joke.

Soon after, Ivanov announced that he'd withdrawn the legislation, saying that its main objective had been to "poke fun at ourselves" in light of all the recent "draconian bills" passed by lawmakers.

"I planned to withdraw it tomorrow or this evening. … I submitted it and planned to retract it. But the April Fools' joke was effective — it was a joke in which there is an element of truth," Ivanov told RIA-Novosti on Monday night.

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