23 Nov 2023 15:49

Rosselkhoznadzor bans import of seed and planting material from Netherlands to Russia from Nov 23

MOSCOW. Nov 23 (Interfax) - Russian agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor has banned the import of seed and planting material from the Netherlands into Russia from November 23, the agency said in a statement.

In addition, a restriction was imposed on supplies of seed material accompanied by documents confirming varietal, sowing qualities and absence of GMOs issued by the Enza-Zaden Operalions B.Y. laboratory until confirmation of the competencies, methods and results of research of this laboratory according to a Rosselkhoznadzor audit.

These measures were taken due to the detection of bacterial blotch of pumpkin crops, which is subject to quarantine in Russia and EAEU member countries.

Rosselkhoznadzor said that, over the past year, the detection of quarantine objects in seeds coming from the Netherlands has become systematic. Pepino mosaic virus, bacterial blotch of pumpkin crops, artemisia ragweed, and trifloral nightshade were found in the products. For this reason, there are currently bans on the import of seeds from several areas in the Netherlands.

"Shipments of contaminated products are occurring while there are no responses the past one and-a-half years from the national organization for quarantine and plant protection in the Netherlands to Rosselkhoznadzor's requests to confirm the phytosanitary status of batches of seed and planting material sent to Russia," the message says. "In addition, according to Russian seed production legislation, the presence of quarantine objects is established during the testing of crops, and if they are identified, documents for varietal and sowing qualities are not issued. Thus, the competence of the Dutch laboratory, Enza-Zaden Operalions B.Y., which prepared documents for the contaminated products to be sent to Russia, is in doubt."

Rosselkhoznadzor reported that it sent proposals to conduct an audit of the laboratory four times to the competent agency in the Netherlands, but no response came back. Since imported seed and planting material is used in Russian greenhouse complexes and intensive gardens that ensure the country's food security, Rosselkhoznadzor was forced to take restrictive measures, the report says. The measures comply with Article VII of the International Plant Protection Convention, and the federal laws "On Plant Quarantine" and "On Seed Production".

Contaminated seeds, fruits and seedlings spread bacterial wilt of cucurbits (Acidovorax citrulli Schaad et al.). The disease affects zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, watermelons, melons, cucumbers, and various types of pumpkins, squash as well as other crops. When plants are infected early, yield losses can reach up to 100%, Rosselkhoznadzor said.