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Russia bans imports of Swedish meat

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10:45 CET+01:00
Nine Swedish meat processing facilities have had their licences to export to Russia revoked after failing Russian meat inspections carried out last spring.

Russian meat inspectors carried out reviews of several Swedish meat processing plants in May and June of this year.

The inspections have resulted in Russia withdrawing the export licence for one facility permanently, while eight other facilities have been slapped with a temporary ban on shipping their products to Russia.

“The Russian requirements are different from the Swedish and from the EU requirements,” Anna Brådenmark of the Sweden's National Food Administration (Livsmedelsverket) told the TT news agency.

She said that all nine facilities have been approved by Swedish food inspection authorities.

“Russia views certain things differently,” she said.

Within the EU, audits are carried out to ensure that meat processors have a functioning system for checking food products, while Russia wants tests to be taken for every shipment.

There are also differences between the EU and Russia when it comes to how old animals should be when they are tested for BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease.

“That issue is currently under discussion at the EU level,” said Brådenmark.

According to her, Russia has carried out inspections in several EU member states which has led to several facilities losing their export licences.

When the shortcomings uncovered by the Russian meat inspectors have been remedied at the eight Swedish facilities which have had their licences temporarily withdrawn, they will once again be allowed to ship meat to Russia.

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