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Cablegate: Russian Vet Service Delists Another U.S.

VZCZCXYZ0028
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3203/01 3051310
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311310Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC PRIORITY 5402
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0583
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 4682
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 5231

UNCLAS MOSCOW 003203

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

USDA FAS FOR OCRA/KUYPERS; OSTA/HAMILTON, BEAN
PASS FSIS/JONES, DUTROW
PASS APHIS/MITCHELL
STATE FOR EUR/RUS, EB/ATP/SINGER
STATE PASS USTR FOR PORTER
BRUSSELS PASS APHIS/FERNANDEZ
VIENNA PASS APHIS/TANAKA
GENEVA FOR USTR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ETRD TBIO WTO RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN VET SERVICE DELISTS ANOTHER U.S.
POULTRY PLANT

REF: A) HANSEN/DUTROW EMAIL 10/29/08, B) MOSCOW
3181, C) MOSCOW 2946, D) MOSCOW 2235

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Russian Federal Veterinary
and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS)
informed via official letter that as of October
28, that another U.S. poultry plant (P-7927) was
delisted after routine tests revealed the
presence of Salmonella. The letter requests that
the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
(FSIS) conduct an investigation into how this
foodborne pathogen found its way into poultry
shipments to Russia. The original scanned copy
of the VPSS letter and courtesy translation were
sent to FSIS on October 29, 2008 (REF A). An
informal embassy translation of the letter
follows. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) BEGIN TEXT:
Moscow, October 28, 2008
No. FS-NV-2/10941

Assistant Deputy Administrator
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
Dr. William James

The Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary
Surveillance Service (VPSS) extends its regards
to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
(FSIS) and informs you of the following:

Salmonella was detected recently during routine
testing of residues of prohibited and harmful
substances in poultry shipments (chicken
quarters) imported from the United States (lab
test results No. 7905/B-5933 of September 25,
2008; No. 8556/B-6552, 8554/B-6550, 8555/B-6551
of October 13, 2008). The product was
manufactured at establishment No. P-7927
(veterinary certificates No. RFA-039425, RFA-
039424, RFA-039423 of April 16, 2008).

Coccidiostat salinomycin was also detected in
poultry shipments from U.S. establishment No. P-
758 (lab test results No. 1652 of October 8,
2008; veterinary certificate No. RFA-049572 of
August 21, 2008).

Antibiotics of tetracycline group were found in
the shipments of poultry that were produced at
the U.S. establishment No. P-1309 (lab results
No. 478M, 480M of September 22, 2008). The
poultry was imported to the Russian Federation
with veterinary certificates No. RFA-027512, RFA-
027514, RFA-027516 of August 1, 2008.

The cases mentioned above are violations of the
requirements set forth in the negotiated
veterinary certificate for export of poultry to
the Russian Federation.

Therefore, VPSS informs you that temporary
restrictions on the import of products from
above-mentioned establishments come into force on
October 28, 2008. In addition, VPSS requests
that you conduct an investigation to determine
why illegal substances are being found in
veterinary products shipped from the United
States to Russia. VPSS asks you to take urgent
measures to prevent the shipment of meat and
poultry products to Russia that do not fully
comply with the requirements of the Russian
Federation and the negotiated veterinary
certificates.

Please inform VPSS about the results of
investigation and the preventative measures FSIS

will take to stop these types of occurrences from
taking place in the future.

Dr. James, let me assure you in my highest
esteem.


N.A. Vlasov
Acting Head

Attachment: on 15 pages (not included in this
telegram)
END TEXT.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: Russia currently has a zero-
tolerance policy for foodborne pathogens, such as
Salmonella. To date, Russia has not offered any
scientific basis for such an unreasonably strict
regime, which is not consistent with
international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS)
norms. Although Russia has agreed to abide by
international SPS standards as of the date of WTO
accession, or to provide a scientific basis to
justify stricter standards during regular
engagements and consultations, we recommend that
USDA and USTR officials continue to urge Russian
negotiators to immediately adopt international
SPS standards at upcoming meetings in Geneva and
Washington, DC. No less should be accepted of an
aspiring WTO member.

BEYRLE

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