Russia Blocks Import of U.S. Poultry

Russia began blocking imports of U.S. poultry as of Jan. 1 because of concerns about a commonly used chlorine treatment, USDA and a Russian news agency reported last week.

Russia plans to proceed, over U.S. objections, with a new law prohibiting chlorine as an anti-microbial treatment in poultry production, said Katie Gorscak, a USDA spokeswoman.

“Since chlorine has been used as an anti-microbial treatment for poultry in the United States 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 raises the costs of poultry products for Russia’s consumers,” Gorscak said.

U.S. and Russian officials have agreed to hold further technical talks on the issue “as soon as possible,” but are still working to finalize dates, she said.

The United States believes Russia’s new regulation is unjustified because of “overwhelming scientific evidence” showing chlorine is a safe and effective disinfectant for use in poultry, Gorscak said.