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Russia warns of banning Pakistani rice again after contaminant found

Islamabad, April 21: Russia has warned Pakistan of banning rice imports from the country again after detecting the presence of a quarantine organism in a recent shipment, reports said on Sunday.

Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (FSVPS) issued a notification, earlier this month, regarding violations of international and Russian phytosanitary requirements over a shipment of rice imported from Pakistan which contained the ‘Megaselia scalaris’ fly, the Dawn reported.

It has asked the Pakistani Embassy in Russia to order an immediate investigation into the matter, as well as seeking such violations not occur again in the future and the relevant phytosanitary standards be maintained for trade in agricultural commodities.

The Pakistani mission has sent an English translation of the Russian authority’s letter to the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) in the Ministry of Food Security and other government offices concerned, seeking a prompt investigation and sharing of the report to avoid any ban on rice exports.

Russia had previously imposed a ban on similar grounds in 2019, which remained in place for around two years and was only lifted after a series of negotiations between officials of both sides on food safety standards.

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