Chief sanitary doctor of Russia officially proposes interdiction for Moldovan wine imports

The head of the federal authority for supervision of protection for consumers’ rights and people’s welfare, Genady Onishchenko, chief sanitary doctor of Russia, sent a letter to the Federal Customs Service, territorial directorates of consumers Rospotrebnadzor and chief sanitary doctors on Monday, March 27, in which he officially recommends the restriction of Moldovan and Georgian wine imports in the Russian Federation, according to Russian mass media. Onishchenko demands the prohibition of imports of wines and wine products from Moldova and Georgia, asking the competent authorities to instruct regional customs services to restrict the importation of wines from these states. The chief sanitary doctor of Russia alleges that the wine production from the two states harms the health of consumers, including because the wines from Moldova and Georgia often unfits the legislation of the Russian state. The actions regarding sanitary-epidemic conclusions for wines and wine production from Moldova and Georgia are suspended on March 27 until the violations are remedied. Earlier, Onishchenko had asked Russia to take severe measures against imports of wines from Moldova and Georgia, expressing concern with safety of wines from these countries, presence of pesticides and iron. The chairman of the Moldovan union of wine exporters, Gheorghe Cozub, has stated to Info-Prim Neo that the Moldovan wines do not contain 2nd and 3rd-degree pesticides (claimed by Onishchenko) because Moldova does not import them for five years and wine makers would not use them because they are expensive. He noted that Moldova focuses on biologically clean wines. As regards iron, Cozub said that wines contains iron in a quantity established by the International Vine and Wine Association, of which Moldova is a member, while this quantity is not harmful for health, nor it changes the quality of wine. Cozub underlined that Moldovan wines would be troubled if they contained more iron than needed. Cobuz underlined that most of wine plants in Moldova have temporarily suspended their activity because the old excise stamps for wines expire while new excises are absent. Moldova exported wine production worth 313 million dollars in 2005, by 12 percent more than in 2004. The Moldovan wines hold about 80 percent of the Russian market, while half of wines consumed by Russia are made in Moldova. Moldova ranks the 11th place in the top of world wine exporters. Moldova exports about 150 million litres of wine a year.

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