6 Mar 2018 15:38

PepsiCo is holding constructive talks with Rosselkhoznadzor on regulator's comments - company spokesperson

OMSK. March 6 (Interfax) - JSC Wimm-Bill-Dann (WBD), which is owned by PepsiCo, is conducting a constructive dialogue with Russia's food standards agency Rosselkhoznadzor on comment made by the regulator regarding the company's products; WBD does not accept the results of inspections during which Rosselkhoznadzor identified antibiotics in cheese produced at Rubtsovsky diary plant in Altai.

"We met with Rosselkhoznadzor [with the watchdog's chief Sergei Dankvert] on February 28, had talks and are now in a constructive dialogue regarding a number of comments they made," a PepsiCo Russia spokesperson Svetlana Khabarova told Interfax.

She said that the company does not agree with the regulator's conclusions that antibiotics are being used in the production of its goods. "We don't use antibiotics or raw materials with antibiotics. If there are antibiotics in raw milk, we send it back to the supplier. Moreover, if antibiotics are used in raw milk, cheese will not ripen," Khabarova said.

She said that this position has been communicated to the regulator.

The conflict between the watchdog and PepsiCo has been ongoing since November 2017 when Rosselkhoznadzor discovered antibiotics in Lamber cheese produced at Rubtsovsky diary plant. PepsiCo said that it send the cheese in question for analysis at three independent accredited laboratories. They confirmed that there were no antibiotics and that the cheese fully complied with Russian legal regulations of and those of the Customs Union.

PepsiCo owns over 40 enterprises in Russia. In 2011, it bought OJSC Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, one of Russia's leading producers of dairy and juice products.