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News 1890 views last update:Feb 25, 2016

Russia bans pork imports from US and Canada

Russia's food safety watchdog Rosselhaznadzor has found the feed additive ractopamine, which is banned in Russia, in meat products imported from the United States, Canada and Brazil, and has decided to ban imports from one US and two Canadian companies.

The long-running international dispute over ractopamine, a drug used to boost growth and leanness in pork and beef production, has become even more contentious in recent weeks. Products from the Brazilian company have been put under enhanced monitoring.

The Federal Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Oversight Service said ractopamine was found in pork imported from US company John Morrell, and Canadian companies Aliments Asta Inc. and Quality Meat Packers Ltd.

In addition, due to a first violation, an enhanced laboratory testing regime has been imposed on products from Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Les Aliments Maple Leaf Inc., Great Lakes Specialty Meats of Canada Inc, Atrahan Transformation Inc. and Fearmans Pork Inc. If further violations are found in future, the watchdog warned it will be forced to impose temporary restrictions on imports of products from these companies into Russia.

Such a measure could also be imposed against the products from Brazil's Seara Alimentos and Sadia S.A., in which ractopamine was also found. For the time being, products are under lab monitoring.

Russian experts do not doubt that this is only the first restrictions that will occur against pork producers using ractopamine additive. According to Russian vets the foreign producers that previously were growing animals with the help of this drug simply could not immediately change the production process according to the new Russian requirements.

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