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Russian consumer watchdog seeks ban on some McDonalds’ products

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s consumer protection agency has filed a lawsuit in a Moscow court seeking to ban some of McDonald’s Corp’s burgers along with its milk shakes and ice cream, a court spokeswoman said on Friday.

A regional branch of the consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor asked the court to declare production and sales of some products illegal due to “inappropriate physical-chemical parameters,” she told Reuters.

The lawsuit’s list of contested products named the fast-food chain’s Royal Cheeseburger, Filet-o-Fish, Cheeseburger and Chicken Burger but not its Big Mac burger.

McDonald’s said in a statement it had not received any complaint from the agency and had no information about the lawsuit. It said its food was produced according to methods approved by Russian authorities.

The lawsuit comes three months after the fast-food chain decided to close its restaurants in Crimea, the Ukraine region whose annexation by Russia in March triggered U.S. and European sanctions. At the time, some Russian politicians called for all McDonald’s outlets in Russia to be shut.

The court will hold a preliminary hearing on Aug. 13 with the key hearing likely to be scheduled for September, she said.

The fast-food company, which first opened in Moscow in 1990, operates about 400 restaurants in Russia and sees the country as one of its top seven major markets outside the United States and Canada, according to its 2013 annual report.

(Reporting by Olga Sichkar and Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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