MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Rospotrebnadzor, Russia's consumer rights watchdog group, banned on Monday imports of three wines produced in California.
The Kremlin banned the semi-dry white wine Gnarly Head Chardonnay produced by Delicato Family Vineyards, the dry red wine Geyser Peak Merlot produced by Geyser Peak Winery and the sweet white wine Crane Lake Moscato produced by Crane Lake Celllars, Radio Free Europe reported. The agency contends that the excessive levels of phthalic acids and pesticides discovered in these wines led to the decision to suspend their importations.
"Phthalic acid ... can cause functional and organic changes in the central and peripheral nerve system ... also oncological illnesses and fertility problems in men and women," Rospotrebnadzor wrote on its website, as reported by The Moscow Times.
The United States and the European Union have imposed repeated sanctions against Russia, stemming from the Ukraine crisis and "illegal" annexation of Crimea in March, 2014.
In late July, Russia banned the importation of cut flowers from the Netherlands. The Kremlin's agriculture watchdog said that some flowers were infected with a banned organism.
In August, Russia added Albania, Montenegro, Liechtenstein and Iceland to a list of countries from which it banned most food imports. This followed a decree signed on July 29 to destroy all banned food confiscated at Russia's borders.