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The Federal Service for Supervision over Consumer Rights (Rospotrebnadzor) banned imports of produce of Roshen Confectionary Company, the largest producer of confectionary products in Ukraine. The experts believe that this situation resulted from worsening relations between the two countries.
Benzopyrene was found in Roshen milk chocolate, according Rospotrebnadzor, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily reported. This carcinogenic substance may cause oncologic diseases development and is dangerous for human body even in small amounts. The ban is imposed, as Russian chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko said, after an expertise of confectionary products at four factories in Kiev, Vinnitsa, Mariupol and Kremenchug, which are owned by Roshen. The candies and chocolate bars, which were on sale in Moscow trading networks, were selected for an expertise.
Meanwhile, it is absolutely unclear how benzopyrene, which is formed in the burning of hydrocarbon liquid, solid and gas fuel, could appear in confectionary products, quality control director of one of the largest Russian confectionary factories, chief technologist Nadezhda Lukinova told the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily. “Probably, some fumigation has emerged and it got into raw materials, but the possibility of its penetration in confectionary products during the production cycle is almost impossible,” she told the newspaper. “It seems particularly strange that it was found in milk chocolate, because raw materials of which it is made does not envisage at all any contact with the products, in the burning of which benzopyrene is emitting,” she went on to say.
Ukrainian products evoked Onishchenko’s critical remarks already not for the first time, the Novye Izvestia daily recalled. In 2012, he banned imports of Ukrainian cheese in Russia, accusing its producers of technology violating. As for the current ‘candy war’, causes for it are obvious. The newspaper recalled that Russian officials have repeatedly voiced the plans to introduce additional special import duties on coal, chocolate and glass from Ukraine in retaliation to the special Ukrainian imports duties on cars from Russia.
Ukraine’s reluctance to join the Customs Union can have a negative impact on the country, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. If a gas lever of pressure on Kiev, which is hard to deal with, does not work, there are some other ways, even more exotic ones.
According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Revenues and Duties, local confectionaries delivered 119,100 tonnes of chocolate products on the Russian market in 2012, earning about 413 million dollars. Whereas the chocolate imports from Russia to Ukraine reached 27,800 tons worth $102.7 million.
Meanwhile, Roshen is astonished at such an unexpected shower of criticism. “The corporation has always observed all the rules of certification for confectionary products and fulfilled all necessary sanitary standards, observing the requirements of the state regulatory documentation in Ukraine and Russia,” a Roshen source said on Monday.
The current situation results from a deterioration of the relations between Russia and Ukraine, Deputy Director of the Centre of Political Technologies Alexei Makarkin said. “The role of the gas lever is on decline, as Ukraine reduces Russian gas consumption, and therefore, this factor already does not work in all cases,” he said.
The expert recalled about a recent decision to stop privileged supplies of Ukrainian pipes in the second half of this year.