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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dairy industry fights back against accusations of the use of gypsum

Milk on the Russian market broke a major scandal. The Rosselkhoznadzor has accused the producers in an unprecedented falsification of dairy products – not just palm oil, but soap, chalk, and even plaster. The claim and the largest seller of milk powder to Russia, Belarus. How grounded are these accusations?

The Rosselkhoznadzor considers the possibility of imposing ban on export of milk powder from Belarus. Research has repeatedly revealed cases of falsification of the Belarusian milk powder, which was the non-compliance with technical regulations for protein content, said the head of Department of veterinary supervision at export-import operations, transport and international cooperation of the Rosselkhoznadzor Konstantin Savenkov.

“If the question is about the bias of the regulator should be carried out independent expertise, to make it clear which party is trying to enter society astray”

“Our producers use this milk and have never laid claim to its quality, this is indirect proof that the country is adulterated dairy products”, – quotes its words “Interfax”.

Minsk, in turn, explained claims to the Belarusian milk with a Russian counterfeit. Claims to quality of Belarusian dairy products caused, most likely, actions of the Russian enterprises, which falsifiziert Belarusian brands, said the head of the main Department of foreign economic activity of the Ministry of Belarus Alexey Bogdanov.

The subject of the adulteration of dairy products raised this week the Rosselkhoznadzor. He has accused Russian dairy producers is that they add milk, water and starch, chalk, soap, soda, lime, boric or acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) and even gypsum. Thereby they reduce the cost of production.

“There are small producers that produce very high quality products, and there are outright crooks. While large manufacturers also produce falsification. This happens at the enterprises of large holding companies. And all the fraud goes to the milk industry, especially in the production of dairy produce with high fat content. We never found the adulteration of raw milk,” – said in an interview with TASS Deputy head of Rosselkhoznadzor Nikolai Vlasov.

Dairy producers were outraged. The head of the National Union of milk producers (Soyuzmoloko) Andrei Danilenko has already sent letters to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev requested to check made the statement reported about the falsification of dairy products. According to Danilenko, the statements of service is not confirmed by the data of Protocol research and contradict the common sense”, the Rosselkhoznadzor and its subordinate institutions do not have the necessary qualifications to work with prepared milk products, writes “Kommersant”.

“First, the responsibility of the Rosselkhoznadzor lies in the evaluation of imported products at the border and raw materials on the domestic market from the point of view of animal health. What they comment on is actually Rospotrebnadzor’s powers, and not of the Rosselkhoznadzor. Second, they make statements on the basis of research Institute of animal health. Thirdly, the components themselves, which they call soap, chalk, gypsum – makes no sense to use neither economic nor technological. This is absurd. There is a problem with the use of palm oil or whey, but the use of plaster and chalk were not recorded never,” – said the newspaper VIEW Andrey Danilenko.

“Therefore, if the Department does have such facts, we need to tell you who does it, because these businesses have to close. But if they don’t call, the question arises on what basis they make such conclusion,” adds the Director of “Soyuzmoloko”.

Deputy Minister Nikolay Vlasov informed replied that the study was conducted in response to the request of the government and Dvorkovich, it held a subordinate office of the fgbi “ARRIAH”, and making it the Federal state unitary enterprise has a laboratory with the necessary equipment. While Vlasov has explained earlier that it is not ready to name unscrupulous manufacturers, including fears of the emergence of lawsuits.

Need for independent expertise

“In a dispute “Soyuzmoloko” and the Rosselkhoznadzor, if the question is about the bias of the regulator should be carried out independent expertise, for example, in European laboratories to make it clear which party is trying to enter society astray,” – said General Director of the analytical community ThetaTrading Dmitry Aderman.

“In my opinion, the share of substandard dairy products in the Russian market is really big. I’m not talking about adding in the production of lime and plaster, but at least the use of vegetable fats and dilution of milk with water is the sin of many manufacturers in the lower price segment,” – he said.

“Soyuzmoloko” I agree that the market is counterfeit, but of a different quality. The main method of falsification is the replacement of animal fats in vegetable, primarily of tropical origin – palm oil. “It is economically attractive to manufacturers and reduces the cost by 20-30%. Palm oil is added largely in those products where a high proportion of fat – cheese, butter, sour cream, cheese,” – says Danilenko.

Manufacturers may use whey powder or dry milk where it is impossible. “For example, write on the label that the milk is solid, and it actually restored from dried milk. Theoretically it can be also a problem with antibiotics,” adds the source.

According to estimates, “Soyuzmoloko”, the average percentage of adulteration in the entire dairy industry from 8 to 10%, and the segment most at risk – cheese and butter – the proportion of counterfeits can reach 20%.

The fate of the Belarusian “milk”

Regarding a possible ban of import of dried milk from Belarus, it could be a serious blow in the first place for the Belarusian manufacturers. Almost all imported milk powder supplied to Russia from Belarus, said Dmitry Aderman. As a whole, 45% is produced in Belarus dairy products exported to Russia.

To be affected and the Russian producers. “Milk powder is actively used in the manufacture of confectionery and bakery products, as well as a number of meat products, where milk plays the role of binder,” says Edelman.

However, the head of “Soyuzmoloko” does not see serious problems for Russia. “In the summer we always have a surplus of milk. There are some regions, such as Altai, Bashkiria and Tatarstan, who, on the contrary, dried milk. In addition, the milk is sourced from South America and New Zealand. Belarus is not the only source for RF, just logistics it is closer and more convenient. Therefore, if the ban is right now, it will create difficulties for the Belarusian producer, but to the security of Russia’s milk in the long term will not affect”, – said Danilenko. If the ban will be long, that, in his opinion, Russia will find the necessary milk in other countries.

Especially in the end, the head of the Ministry Alexander Tkachev said that “Rosselkhoznadzor few hot”. According to him, the ban of export of milk powder from Belarus is not planned, but the percentage of fraud – “miserable”.

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