MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. Russia’s agricultural watchdog agency Rosselkhoznadzor is concerned by an inadequate reaction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to serious violations in the process of foodstuff exports to the Russian Federation, officials at the agency said on Friday.
Representatives of the Department of Agriculture and Rosselkhoznadzor had a telephone discussion of the efficiency of new U.S. federal standards and mechanisms of ensuring security of poultry produce meant for exports. The overhauled system is to go into effect as of the summer of 2015.
An agreement was reached, under which the Department of Agriculture would provide Rosselkhoznadzor with all the necessary information in written form.
Russian officials called the attention of their U.S. counterparts to the fact Rosselkhoznadzor had issued notifications to Washington on each occasion when agents of diseases and hazardous substances, including salmonellas, Listeria, coccidiostats, antibiotic, arsenic, or other contaminants had been identified in the batches of U.S. foodstuffs, mostly poultry.
In part, Rosselkhoznadzor sent 29 such notifications to the U.S. in 2013 but received only ten answers, each of them two to nine months after the American side received the letters.
“In the first half of 2014, or prior to the introduction of reciprocal sanctions by Russia, a total of 52 notifications were sent out but only eight replies were received after the delays that were as long as in the previous year,” the agency said in a report.
“This inappropriate reaction on the part of the Department of Agriculture to the serious violations in the process of foodstuffs supplies to Russia cannot but cause serious concern on the part of Rosselkhoznadzor,” it indicated.
At the beginning of December 2014, the agency canned the imports of U.S. meat and slaughterhouse byproducts in the wake of encroachment on sanitary norms by U.S. producers and in order to assure consumers’ health.
In November, it banned the imports of pork from the U.S. and Canada after a prohibited growth stimulator had been found in it.