EU wants Russia to lift 'disproportionate' meat bans
The EU's executive arm has stated that Russia's ban on
imported meat from large companies in seven EU countries was disproportionate
and should be removed.
"The (European) Commission maintains that EU meat does not pose a risk to
the consumer and that the measures taken by Russia are disproportionate," said a
spokeswoman for EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said in a statement.
"Therefore, the Commission has requested Russia to review its measures," the
Antibiotics levels too high
Reuters reports that Russia, which is a major consumer of western European
meat, has recently introduced a series of company-specific bans on poultry, pork
and beef imports after determining that antibiotic levels in meat shipments
exceeded safe limits.
"On the basis of the initial information available to the Commission, the
levels of antibiotic residues reported by Russia remain in most cases well below
the maximum residue levels allowed in EU legislation and in the international
standard," the spokeswoman said.
The ban has affected meat firms in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark,
Belgium and Hungary, while imports from companies in the US, Canada, Brazil and
Argentina have also been banned indefinitely.
Some European diplomats in Moscow said the restrictions could be
politically motivated and obstruct Russian accession to the World Trade
Organisation, according to Reuters.
Moscow has been accused repeatedly in the last few years of using import
bans on agricultural products for political ends, but this has always been
denied by Russian officials.
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