Since the Herodotus time, Russians suspiciously regard chicken-meat.
So, that observers who were sure of Russian-American poultry-steel issue having been settled seem to have been mistaken. Russian vet-doctors have many questions as for this subject. This was why, a representative delegation of Russian Agriculture Ministry departs today for the US – to the motherland of so-called “Bush’s legs,” to see with their own eyes how chickens are born, grown and overworked.
It should be remembered that this spring, Russia raised serious claims towards the US poultry quality. First of all, the question was about antibiotics US poultry farmers add to chicken food to make growing chicken bigger. Russian vet doctors, referring to Russian food standards, state these preparations in such concentration could seriously harm the health of Russian “Bush’s legs” consumers. Moreover, recently it is too often that in US poultry there are parcels infected with salmonella.
According to vet department of Russian Agriculture Ministry, the Russian delegation will carefully examine all 450 agriculture plants, overworking fabrics and refrigerator complexes of North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Massachusetts, where most of poultry is produced for export to Russia. The delegation intends to complete its inspection only in May 2003. These guys are lucky: to travel through America for half a year and at public expense! They could have only dreamed about it.
As it turned out, Russian vet doctors still have serious claims as for the US poultry quality. Especially, after this September (after the extraordinary flight of German Gref, head of Russian Economical Development Ministry, to the US), US side admitted the Russian Agriculture Ministry demands to be just and committed itself to supply poultry to Russia, which would more correspond with Russian standards. It was the US capitulation, and one more piece of evidence for this was a sudden confession of such a strong lobbyist of US interests in Russia as US ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow. In an interview, he confessed that spite the US was proud of its poultry quality, he himself looked forward to all these chicken problem being over.
It turns out, that US poultry industry has not remodel yet its production to fully satisfy Russian demands. Russian vet doctors hope for acceleration of this process and intend personally to explain to US poultry producers what exactly production is being expected from them in Russia. Apropos, in the practice of Russian-American trade relations, there has not been yet such imposed settlement of consumer.
On the other hand, according to ancient historian Herodotus, who first described Slav customs, even at that times, our forefathers suspiciously regard chicken-meat. And they preferred not to eat it without special necessity, to avoid illness. (The question is probably about salmonella). At that times, Herodotus states, chicken-meat was daily ration of German tribes wandering along the Danube stream.
September 15, under pressure of Russian side, a new common Russian-American vet certificate was issued, which seems to more correspond with Russian vet and health norms and foresee more strict demands to the poultry quality. Actually, Americans did not have a choice. Otherwise, many poultry producing plants would have gone broke. This would have cause unemployment in at least four US states. While Russian poultry farmers still could have covered the deficit of poultry in Russian market.
In the meanwhile, today, Russia is the biggest importer of US poultry in the world. 1.3 million tons of poultry is being imported daily by Russia, while in money equivalent, the import volume was more than $ 600 million last year. So, US chicken have nothing better to do than to become as angry and cachectic, as their Russian relatives. After that, US citizens will probably lose their patriotic arrogance and they will stop being proud of
Translated by Vera Solovieva