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EU Plants Could Be Banned

Russia's plant and animal health watchdog might ban imports of plant products from all nurseries in the European Union except a number of nurseries in Poland and Hungary that have already been inspected and approved, Interfax reported.

"[The European Commission] is trying to convince Russia that as a country that has joined the WTO, it is obligated to accept planting material from EU countries without requiring phytosanitary guarantees of its safety," the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Oversight Service said.

A recent joint study of 64 nurseries in Poland and Hungary showed that 14 percent of them that had previously been considered safe turned out to be breeding grounds for quarantined materials such as plum pox and the agent for bacterial gummosis, the watchdog said.

Imports of planting material from these nurseries have been stopped, but the others have maintained their status as exporters to Russia.

(MT)

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