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Questions over Russia's US Chicken Ban

by 5m Editor
24 March 2009, at 6:16am

US - Poultry companies whose plants are affected by the ban on the import of their poultry to Russia are questioning the reason for the ban.

Two US chicken companies are questioning Russia's ban of chicken from two plants because the two companies do not use the drugs that Russia says it found in the chicken, company officials told Reuters.

The US Agriculture Department said last week Russia banned chicken imports from three US plants, including one owned by Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N), the largest US chicken producer, and one owned by No. 4 producer, Sanderson Farms Inc (SAFM.O).

Russia also banned chicken from Peco Foods Inc's Canton, Mississippi, plant.

Russian officials claimed they found residue of the antibiotic, oxytetracycline, and another drug, nicarbazin, in chicken imported from Sanderson's Hammond, Louisiana plant, Sanderson Farms Chief Executive Joe Sanderson told Reuters.

"We were using neither of those products," Mr Sanderson said.

Russia banned chicken from Sanderson Farms' Hammond, Louisiana, and Tyson Foods' Cumming, Georgia, plant.

"Based on preliminary information we've received through one of our trade organizations, the Russians claim they found traces of an antibiotic that is not even used by Tyson Foods," Gary Mickelson, Tyson spokesman, told Reuters in an e-mail. "Tyson's live poultry operations use only antibiotics that have been approved for use by the US government."

Tyson Foods said it is awaiting more details from Russia regarding the ban.

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