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Russia, EU Forge Difficult Meat Dialogue

by 5m Editor
19 June 2007, at 12:17pm

MOSCOW - Russia is dealing with a handful of problems related to the import of low quality and even unsafe meat and meat products.

The harsh reactions of Russian veterinary watchdogs, which slapped bans on meat imports from specific foreign factories, caused a lot of raised eyebrows and hard feelings in the West. Suffice it to recall the "Polish meat" controversy, which lasted for over a year, or the recent statement by the Brazilian government that Russia's moves to block Brazilian meat imports are "inadmissible." Still, even in this complicated context, Moscow insists on a constructive dialogue because ultimatums can only harm mutual trade.

With this in mind, Moscow hosted a two-day meeting of experts from the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Oversight, Russian food quality watchdog, and EU Health and Consumer Protection Directorate General. The participants focused on increasing control over animal products circulation.

Stanislav Zakharov, deputy head of the veterinary department at the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Oversight, told Paul Van Geldorp, who headed the EU delegation, that the flow of illegal and low quality foodstuffs was not subsiding despite the on-going intensive bilateral contacts on various issues, including export fraud. The number of inspected merchandise returns is growing as well.

A new alarming trend has emerged in Europe, where entry documents for meat and meat products are being tampered with illegally. For example, exporters can forge certificates from the producing country, and sometimes the product's destination is changed.

Source: Novosti

5m Editor