Problem with ban on import of U.S. meat into Russia can be resolved - Onishchenko

The issue with the ban on the supply of U.S. meat to Russia can be resolved, but Russian experts have questions about the safety of ractopamine," Gennady Onishchenko, the head of Rospotrebnadzor and Russia's chief sanitary inspector, told Interfax on Friday.

"The negotiations are now being conducted at a political level, not at a professional level," Onishchenko said referring to the Russian-U.S. talks on the meat issue.

"Who knows, maybe everything will be resolved, maybe that's how it will be," Onishchenko said responding to a question as to whether Russia can lift the virtually full ban on meat supplies from the United States, which was put in place after complaints about ractopamine, a productivity stimulator used in the United States.

"We sill have questions. We have published a scientific report in which the safety of ractopamine is doubted in 13 items. We still have questions on the scientific report. Thirteen questions which we need answered," he said.

Rosselkhoznadzor earlier said the issue of the resumption of U.S. meat supplies to Russia, which were halted on Feb. 11 over ractopamine, can be resolved promptly if the U.S. veterinary services begin constructive dialogue.

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