Russia`s consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has banned the Gerber Products company, one of the largest U.S. producers of baby food, from importing four kinds of its poultry products to Russia over country`s new safety requirements, the Russian chief sanitary doctor has said.
Russia`s new requirements impose strict limitations on the amount of chlorine in the solution used for the processing of poultry meat.
"We are forced to state that such suppliers as the Gerber Products company... did not change their technologies and ingredients despite the restrictions on the processing of poultry meat and products made of it with chlorine, which had been introduced on January 1," Gennady Onishchenko said.
In line with Russia`s new requirements, which apply to both imports and meat processed in Russia, the amount of chlorine in the solution used for the processing of poultry meat should not exceed the level set for drinking water, 0.3-0.5 milligrams per liter. The requirements also state the fluid that separates when defrosting the meat should not exceed 4% of the total weight of the bird.
Gerber Products is part of the Nestle holding, with an annual trade turnover exceeding $1 billion.
Last week, Onishchenko said Rospotrebnadzor had banned the Finnish branch of the Nestle company from importing some of its baby food products to Russia.
Around 80% of U.S. poultry supplies to Russia have been suspended since January over failure by U.S. poultry producers to meet Russia`s new safety requirements. Washington says this will damage the American poultry industry and push prices up for Russian consumers.
Chlorine has been used as the primary anti-microbial treatment in the United States for a quarter of a century.
In late January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said "technologically, American poultry producers are prepared to observe the [new Russian] standards," which correspond with European regulations.
sections: Society, Celebrities