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Indian rice, groundnuts banned in Russianews
05 June 2007

Mumbai: Russia has imposed a complete ban on import of rice, groundnuts and sesame seeds originating from India citing poor quality.

Starting June 5 no Indian rice, peanuts and sesame seeds will be found in Russian supermarkets, since the Russian federal agency for veterinary and phytosanitary supervision has banned import of these products from India and through third countries.

"The actual ban was in force from May 1, but import was allowed on the basis of earlier issued certificates. Now a complete ban has come into force as Indian authorities have failed to take proper (quality) control measures," Interfax reported, quoting agriculture watchdog ''Rosselkhoznadzor''

"The Indian party fails to take proper measures to enhance control of supplies, and cases of importing dangerous rice, sesame and peanuts in Russia are registered frequently," it added.

Earlier, Moscow had claimed to have found several consignments of Indian rice, groundnuts and sesame seeds contaminated with pests.

In January, it had intercepted 54 tonnes of Indian groundnut infested with pests dangerous for grain crops. In March, pests were found in 125 tonnes of rice imported from India, while a month earlier a consignment of sesame seeds contaminated with fungus, alphatoxin B1 and metallic impurities was stopped by Rosselkhoznadzor.

According to the Indian embassy, the two countries are in the process of resolving the issue, even as New Delhi has strongly spoken against the total ban.

"We don''t think that the European Union, the US and other importers of Indian rice and groundnuts care less for the health of their citizens. We are strongly opposed to the total ban. However, we respect Russia''s right to blacklist companies supplying contaminated commodities," an Indian diplomat said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

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Indian rice, groundnuts banned in Russia