Russia's top sanitary official said on Tuesday he had been informed about attempts to bring controversial U.S. chlorine-treated poultry via third states into the country.
"Attempts are being made to bring chlorine-treated poultry of U.S. producers to Russia, repacked under [the brand names of] producers from third states," Russia's chief sanitary official Gennady Onishchenko said, citing information from "relevant sources."
He hinted that the deliveries were most likely to be made through other members of the recently-established Customs Union, namely Belarus and Kazakhstan.
"The eased requirements that members of the Customs Union enjoy facilitate such deliveries to our country," the Russian official said.
On January 1, Russia introduced new sanitary standards, banning the treatment of meat with chloride of a higher concentration than in drinking water. A difficult negotiating process between Russia and the United States began, while Russia was also negotiating poultry supplies with other states as well as trying to increase domestic production.
By September, Russia's sanitary watchdog approved 83 U.S. facilities for the import of poultry to Russia, leaving a ban in place for just four plants.
U.S. poultry accounted for almost 80% of poultry imports to Russia. The U.S. import quota amounts to 600,000 tons in 2010.
MOSCOW, September 14 (RIA Novosti)