Russian Politics Affecting Food

A recent article about the Sochi Olympics talks of how Russian customs are not allowing Chobani Greek Yogurt to be delivered to Sochi.  The Russian government is not giving any reasons for this blockade of the yogurt and US senators are getting angry.  Russia is not approving a USDA safety certificate label for the yogurt, so one possible explanation is that the Russian government does not approve of the US certification process.

The yogurt was intended only for US athletes, which is another possible reason for the strife.  It is interesting how food is being used in politics because a Senator, Charles Schumer, of New York has been speaking on the issue.  A Chobani plant is in New York, so they stand to make a financial gain from their investment in Team USA, which may be why the New York Senator is pushing so hard for the yogurt to be allowed through customs.  The Senator even sent a letter to the Russian Ambassador pleading for the government to make an exception for the yogurt.

 

Whether this Chobani food issue will turn into a larger issue remains to be seen, but it is oddly reminiscent of the Cold War days when the two nations seemed to fight over the smallest things.