Russia is making bogus food safety claims to curtail or eliminate American pork, poultry and beef imports, say two U.S. Senators.
The allegation is made by the two top agricultural leaders in the U.S. Senate in a letter to President Obama, reports Food Safety News.
Democrat Blanche Lincoln and Republican Saxby Chambliss, the chair and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, urged the President to "fully engage all resources to address these agricultural trade issues, especially with respect to U.S. exports of pork, poultry and beef," according to the Pigsite.com.
The letter states: "While the actions against our exports have taken different forms, they all erect non-scientific barriers to trade. First, if left unchallenged, they would have the effect of keeping U.S. products almost entirely out of Russian markets.
"Second, while the Russian government's varied justifications centered on sanitary measures, analyses or guidelines of international agencies such as the World Organization for Animal Health or the Codex Alimentarius do not support Russia's conclusions. As such, attempts to manage the flow of imports raises questions regarding Russia's willingness and readiness to become a member of the World Trade Organization."
"With respect to pork, a variety of Russian ministries have raised a series of questionable or undocumented objections about processing or residue issues for products originating from specific U.S. plants, leading to those facilities being de-listed for eligibility to export to Russia. With the de-listing of nearly 30 pork processing plants, 98 percent of pork processed in the United States is ineligible for export.
"With respect to poultry, as of January 1, 2010, the government of Russia has determined that it will no longer accept for import poultry that was processed with the use of chlorine rinses, even though numerous studies and most recognized scientific bodies worldwide have found this practice to be entirely safe.