Russia has halted pork shipments from six US sources, including a Smithfield Foods meat-processing plant, saying their products failed to comply with import requirements, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Following visits by Russian government officials in October as part of an annual audit, Russia, the fourth-largest buyer of US pork, will not accept shipments from the plants after Dec. 15.
Smithfield, confirmed that one of the company’s plants will be affected by the latest suspension. However spokesman Jerry Hostetter stated that “we always regard these matters as much more political than scientific”.
The other meat-processing plants affected by the recent suspension are run by the Chicago Meat Authority and Amity Packing in Chicago, Farmington Foods in Forest Park, Illinois, and Abilene TX Foods in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. The suspended slaughterhouse was identified as Sioux-Preme Pork Products in Sioux City, Iowa.
In November, Russia said it planned to cut pork imports by 200,000 tonnes next year in an effort to boost domestic production. The country imported 162.2 million kilograms of US pork this year through September, more than twice as much as the previous year.