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Russia moves to ban US meat

By Rod Addy , 31-Jan-2013

Three out of four nations Russia was concerned about have guaranteed imports free of ractopamine
Three out of four nations Russia was concerned about have guaranteed imports free of ractopamine

Russia is moving to ban US meat imports in the row over instances of contamination with ractopamine, a growth promoting chemical banned in Russia, with more contaminated consignments detected.

Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, Rosselkhoznadzor, issued a statement yesterday highlighting the discovery of the consignments, which tested positive for ractopamine.

The Rosselkhoznadzor immediately informed the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Safety Inspection Service of the breach.

“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,” according to the statement.

‘Crude violation’

It branded the development “a crude violation of Russian and CU (the Eurasian Customs Union) animal health requirements”.

Reports today suggest a ban on all US meat imports may be imminent in reaction against the US’ constant flouting of the rules. However, the Rosselkhoznadzor has, as yet, not issued formal confirmation.

Ractopamine has been the cause of a continuous dispute between Russia and Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the US for more than a year. However, out of these four countries, only the US has not given assurances that it would stop tainted pork and beef imports from reaching Russia.

Veterinary certificate

Canada was the most recent country to provide such assurances, as announced by the Rosselkhoznadzor on January 29. It pledged that all such consignments to Russia would be accompanied by a veterinary certificate guaranteeing they were derived from animals not fed ractopamine and had tested negative for it at an endorsed laboratory.

Following the news, the Rosselkhoznadzor concluded: “Thus, four countries, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the USA, were warned by the Rosselkhoznadzor that of ractopamine presence in products intended for Russian/Customs Union market was inadmissible but the USA is the only one country that has taken no measures to ensure compliance with said requirement.”

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