Chinese ractopamine rules go into effect

Starting today, companies that export pork from the U.S. to China must provide documentation certifying the products are free of the feed additive ractopamine.

The new requirements follow import restrictions imposed on U.S. beef, pork and turkey by Russia in February.

Ractopamine is used to promote lean muscle growth in cows, pigs and turkeys. It is banned for use in China and Russia over concerns about its safety. The U.S. has set a maximum residue limit for ractopamine at 30 parts per billion (ppb) for beef and 50 ppb for pork. The Codex Alimentarius, which creates international food guidelines, has a limit of 10 ppb for pork and beef.

The restrictions have caused concern among agricultural and trade officials in the U.S., who have called the trade barriers with Russia, “an egregious trade barrier with no scientific merit.”

The U.S. exports roughly $300 million in poultry products and approximately $500 million in beef and pork products to Russia annually.

The U.S exports about $886 million in pork and pork products to China and Hong Kong annually, according to Reuters.

For more on this story from Neogen blog, click here.

For information on Neogen’s ractopamine tests, click here.

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