By Dan Flynn for FoodSafetyNews.com:
With as much as 30,000 tons of American poultry in the pipeline to Russia, the government in Moscow imposed a ban on future U.S. poultry imports on New Year’s Day.
Russia joins the European Union in prohibiting the use of chlorine as an anti-microbial treatment in poultry production, which is commonly used in the United States.
As for birds in the pipeline, USA Poultry and Egg Export Council President Jim Summers said he thinks based on earlier assurances from the Russian Veterinary Service that poultry in transit will be allowed to enter.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defended the use of chlorine by the American poultry industry.
“Since chlorine has been used as an anti-microbial treatment for more than 25 years, this resolution effectively blocks U.S. exports of poultry to Russia, has a devastating impact on the U.S. poultry industry and trade, and raised the costs of poultry products for Russia’s consumers,” says USDA spokeswoman Katie Gorscak.
She said there is overwhelming scientific evidence that chlorine is safe and effective as a disinfectant for poultry.
American poultry exports to Russia are the biggest component of U.S. agricultural exports to the former Soviet Union. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Russia has grown to become American’s tenth largest Ag export market for a total of $1.8 billion in 2008. Poultry was almost half of that amount…