Russia’s consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said it had denied permission for Nestle, the world’s biggest food group, to import baby-food products to Russia.

“Nestle was refused the state registration of certain types of products—namely baby food,” the watchdog’s spokeswoman Lyubov Voropayeva said.

She declined to elaborate, while RIA news agency quoted the watchdog’s head Gennady Onishchenko as saying the decision was caused by “the weakening of the technological discipline in production of goods supplied to the Russian market.”

It was not immediately clear whether the ban would apply to all imports or only new products Nestle was going to start selling on the Russian market.

Nestle said it had not received any notification from the regulator and imports were continuing as normal.

“All Nestle products that are selling in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States are absolutely safe for health,” the company said in a statement.

According to Euromonitor, Nestle was the second-biggest baby-food producer on the 1 billion euro Russian market with a 17 percent market share in 2008, after Russian company Wimm-Bill-Dann which had a 23 percent share.

Baby-food is the only imported product among the range of goods that Nestle is selling in Russia. It currently has 15 factories in Russia producing confectionery, coffee, ice-cream, baby-food, cereals, pet food and mineral water. (Reuters)