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Russian Milk Producers Ask to Check State Watchdog's Allegations

Russian milk producers are calling for an investigation into “unprofessional and baseless” accusations by Russian food watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor that dairy manufacturers are mixing cheap ingredients into milk to reduce production costs, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Wednesday.

The request was sent to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, and Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachyov by the head of Russia’s Union of Milk Producers, Andrei Danilenko. Earlier this week, Rosselkhoznadzor accused milk producers of adding starch, chalk, soap, gypsum, as well as boric and salicylic acid to their products.

The Union of Milk producers, which represents some 70 percent of the industry, said in its letter to the ministers that they are “extremely outraged by such public statements.” The group argued that the accusations “are not only unconfirmed by research data, but also contradict common sense,” RIA Novosti quoted Danilenko’s letter as saying.

Danilenko added that such accusations harm the reputation of Russian milk and dairy products, leading to lower consumption of high-quality Russian products.

Rosselkhoznadzor said in its earlier statement that both large and small dairy producers in Russia are engaged in the practice, but the agency refused to specify which producers were identified, citing legal concerns, the TASS news agency reported Tuesday.

Instead, the agency published on their website the list of 38 honest producers.

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