Russia to U.S.: To resume imports, provide ractopamine details

PorkRoast_blogIn the wake of import restrictions on U.S. turkey, beef and pork products, Russia has requested information on monitoring programs for the feed additive ractopamine.

Russia wants a “full description”  on how the U.S. monitors for ractopamine, including sensitivity information, limit of detection and how often the studies are conducted, Russian veterinary and phytosanitary agency Rosselhoznadzor Deputy Head Eugene Nepoklonov wrote to USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Deputy Administrator Ronald Jones in a letter, The Poultry Site reports.

If the U.S.’ techniques fall in line with Russia’s laws and international codes regarding ractopamine, the letter indicated trade could be restored.

Russia placed import restrictions on U.S. beef, pork and turkey earlier this year, despite calls from U.S. officials to restore trade, which accounts for roughly $500 million in beef and pork exports to Russia annually.

Ractopamine is a feed additive that promotes lean muscle growth in animals. It is banned for use in 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.

Ractopamine has been the subject of much international disagreement of late. In the beginning of March, China also implemented new ractopamine rules that require companies that export U.S. pork to China to provide documentation certifying the products are ractopamine-free.

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

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