Russia threatens Polish produce ban

Countries More News Most Read Today's Headline
Russia threatens Polish produce ban

Almost two months after cutting off market access for Pakistani fruit and vegetable growers, Russian authorities are threatening to do the same to producers in nearby Poland. manzanasrojas-fondorojo_92207716 panorama

The Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) has reported 21 cases of Polish plant products infested with pests of significance in 2012 and the first nine months of this year, leading to an expression of "serious concern" from the agency.

Rosselkhoznadzor also revealed 916 violations of phytosanitary registration requirements, including such issues as the distortion of country of origin information, false information about shippers, unauthorized changes to certificates and disparate inventory documents.

The concerns have been raised with the State Plant Health and Seed Inspection Service of the Republic of Poland, noting that unless significant measures are taken to eliminate the causes of these violations, temporary bans will be placed on Polish fruits and vegetables considered as high risk.

While asking for a detailed plan from Polish authorities, Rosselkhoznadzor also drew attention to an increase in pesticide residue levels in the country's produce, which it claimed were dangerous to human health.

In the first nine months of 2013, the agency claims to have intercepted 3,982 metric tons (MT) of Polish produce that exceeded maximum pesticide residue (MRL) limits in random inspections, making particular note of cabbages and apples.

A release from Rosselkhoznadzor said it had urged the Polish government to take control of pesticide use at all stages of growth and production, and that the Polish side was agreement with Russia's recommended approaches.

Polish media also reported accusations from Rosselkhoznadzor that semi-legal, often criminal schemes were set up by Polish exporters to supply the Russian market via Belarus.

The author of the remarks, Russia's chief sanitary doctor Gennady Oniszczenko, emphasized his comments had no political subtext and were purely out of interest for the health of Russian citizens.

Website reported Russia was Poland's third largest agri-food market and received 62% of the country's apples.

Polish Agriculture Minister Stanisław Kalemba told local press that Russia had no reason to embargo Poland's food, and that authorities wanted to explain the issues raised by their Russian counterparts as soon as possible.



Subscribe to our newsletter