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Russia Bans U.S. Beef and Pork Exports on Ractopamine Concerns

Ban becomes effective Feb. 11

Published on: Jan 31, 2013

Beef and pork exports to Russia will be halted Feb. 11 on concerns that the U.S. cannot guarantee the products are free of ractopamine, according to information released to Bloomberg from Russian food safety authority Rosselkhoznadzor.

Russia first announced in December that it would require testing of U.S. meat exports to ensure all meat was free of the feed additive. At the time, the U.S. Trade Representative's office said it was "very concerned" with the testing protocol and that it appeared to be inconsistent with WTO member obligations.

Beef and pork exports to Russia will be halted Feb. 11 on ractopamine concerns
Beef and pork exports to Russia will be halted Feb. 11 on ractopamine concerns

Regarding the full ban, Rosselkhoznadzor told Bloomberg that the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service was unable to guarantee that meat shipments would be free of the additive.

"The Rosselkhoznadzor informed FSIS of the US Ministry of Agriculture that despite the repeated warnings the growth promoter ractopamine prohibited for use in Russia was detected during the laboratory monitoring of imported food product safety in pork consignments produced by plant No.17D and beef liver produced by plant No.235 which was a crude violation of Russian and CU animal health requirements," the food safety service said in a statement Wednesday.

Ahead of the ban this week, Rosselkhoznadzor warned that out of the four countries from which it requested ractopamine-free guarantees – Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. – the U.S. was the "only country that has taken no measures to ensure compliance with said requirement."

According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, value of beef exports to Russia totaled $203.7 million and pork exports totaled $202.9 million from January to September, 2012.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So frustrating to feel like the backwards cousin because lobbyists are so firmly entrenched in politics that we can no longer stop processes that do not benefit our own safety (FDA doesn't do testing, they expect manufacturers to provide proof that a product is safe....I know, sounds crazy when you say it out loud) or benefit us economically. We can't even get our own foods labelled for consumers to have a choice, and we allow the consumption of vegetables that are genetically engineered to poison insects, but it can't hurt us (wink). Voltare said, "if you want to know who rules you, all you have to know is who you are not allowed to criticize."

  2. Anonymous says:

    I knew it!! Our livestock industry would find a way to shoot itself in the foot. What a bunch of fools!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Many cattlemen across the US would be perfectly willing to provide proof that their beef and pork products are free of ractopamine. However, industrialized agriculture refuses to give these concerns credence! I guess the US can afford to lose approximately $400,000,000 worth of beef and pork sales annually....we are in such great financial shape as a nation! Check out the National Cattlemen's Association stand on the use of growth hormones in beef!