YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Armenia’s customs houses have neither laboratories for testing imported food products nor professionals to test them," said the Head of the Department of Meat and Milk Processing–Academy of Agriculture of Armenia–Razmik Beglarian. According to him–for the security of the food to be ensured–an independent specialized laboratory must be established in Armenia. Beglarian said that the lack of such a laboratory is the reason why the market is flooded with stale meat and dairy products–which contain harmful chemicals.
International organizations require Armenia to bring food standards up to par with international standards. "It is of no benefit either to the country or to the Armenian people," said Beglarian. The international standards are not as strict as the former Soviet standards that are in effect in Armenia now. In particular–both natural and synthetic preservatives can be used in the production of some types of products. However–former Soviet standards require that the food products manufactured in and imported to Armenia must meet 48 standards–and Beglarian said that currently even the minimal requiremen’s are not being met.