News last update:Feb 25, 2016

Russia threatens to stop US pork imports

Russia is currently calling for US pork and beef to stop making its way into the country – as the meats have to be declared free of ractopamine.

This could relay to over $500 million a year of beef and pork exports being threatened as Russia is one of the 10 largest importers of US pork and beef.

Currently the US Department of Agriculture has no testing and certification program in place for ractopamine, this could mean that Russia could stop US pork and beef imports to the country.

Ractopamine is used as a feed additive in US swine and cattle to produce leaner meat. With the use of Ractopamine meat also goes to market sooner. Some countries such as China have banned its use, while the United Nations has agreed on acceptable levels of the drug. The controversial feed additive has been the topic of scrutiny for some time.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack criticised Russia's for wanting US meat be government-certified as free of any traces of ractopamine.

"The United States calls on Russia to suspend these new measures and restore market access for US beef and pork products," US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in joint statement on Saturday.

Thee have been talks about US trade and economic officials travelling to Moscow this week in order to persuade the Russian government to postpone the new requirement.

The USDA is currently working with Russia to resolve the issue.

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