Russia imposes restrictions on U.S. meat

Russia has imposed new trade rules on U.S. beef and pork, requiring the exports to be free of a feed additive that causes the animals to grow quicker.

To ensure compliance, the Russian government announced it will begin testing U.S. beef and pork imports for the additive, ractopamine. The move comes after the U.S. Senate voted last week to establish permanent normal trade relations with Russia, according to The Hill.

U.S. officials contend this requirement conflicts with Russia’s obligations as a new member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to a statement from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

“The United States is very concerned that Russia has taken these actions, which appear to be inconsistent with its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization. The United States calls on Russia to suspend these new measures and restore market access for U.S. beef and pork products,” Vilsack and Kirk said in the statement. “The United States sought, and Russia committed as part of its WTO accession package, to ensure that it adhered rigorously to WTO requirements and that it would use international standards unless it had a risk assessment to justify use of a more stringent standard. Especially in light of its commitment to use international standards, this is an important opportunity for Russia to demonstrate that it takes its WTO commitments seriously.”

The U.S. exports about $500 million in beef and pork to Russia annually, according to The New York Times.

The European Union and China currently ban the use of ractopamine. Earlier this year, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which creates international food standards and guidelines, issued a ruling that set maximum residue limits for ractopamine (10 parts per billion, or ppb, for beef and pork). The Codex limit is lower than the U.S. FDA’s limit of 30 ppb for beef and 50 ppb for pork.

The ruling raised concerns with the Council of the European Union, which stated that by setting a limit on ractopamine, the Codex was accepting its use.

To read more posts from Neogen blog regarding ractopmaine, click here

Comments are closed.