December 18, 2008
Russia bans chlorine in chicken production


Russian chicken producers will not be allowed to use chlorine as a disinfectant effective Jan 1, 2009, the country's chief health inspector Gennady Onishchenko said Wednesday (Dec 17).


However, Onishchenko said that producers could still use lactic acid, acetic acid, and peracetic acid to disinfect poultry.


Russia had banned imports of US poultry in 2002, quoting the reason that chlorine-based disinfectants used by US producers such as Tyson Foods Inc. might cause cancer.


This greatly upset the US as it is the largest poultry supplier to Russia. In November , Russian agriculture minister Alexei Gordeyev said the country plans to cut 2009 import quotas on poultry by 300,000 million tonnes and pork by 200,000 million tonnes, in order to help domestic producers. He hopes to have domestic meat production replace foreign supply.


On the other hand, the EU lifted the ban on US poultry amid fears of the chlorine washing process on June 10. The region would instead impose labelling requirements and revisit the issue in two years. 


EU found that the four substances used in the US for cleaning poultry carcasses chlorine dioxide, acidified sodium chlorite, trisodium phosphate and peroxyacids represented "no safety concern within the proposed conditions of use."

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