Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko is demanding an apology after Russia’s chief public health official Gennady Onishchenko commented on the quality control over Ukrainian agricultural production.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Onishchenko said a new reform plan to transfer control over food production to the country’s veterinary service “de facto contains the identification of Ukrainians as animals,” and called for a ban on food imports from Ukraine.

The authorities in Kiev argue the move will make the country’s consumer protection service “more European.”

“Why doesn’t he like the European experience of control we’re bringing in?” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko wrote on his Twitter account. “Onishchenko had better publicly apologize for his words.”

Ukraine’s veterinary watchdog chief Ivan Bisyuk said the move “doesn’t mean vets will control products of vegetable origin or baby food.”

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