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Global standards wanted after China blocks pork

A ban imposed by the Chinese government on imports of pork from a number of Canadian and U.S. packers shows the need for international standards for approval of animal health and nutrition products, according to the Canadian Meat Council.

Speaking on Farmscape, a pork industry-sponsored news service, CMC executive director Jim Laws said it’s not the first time confusion has followed approval of such products in some countries but not others.

A Codex Alimentarius standard, for example, administered by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization, would indicate to trading nations that a product has or has not been proven internationally to be safe, and that it could therefore be allowed or disallowed in all countries, Laws said.

China recently suspended pork shipments from a number of North American plants, including Maple Leaf Foods’ flagship hog plant at Brandon, Man., citing residues of ractopamine in the pork.

Ractopamine, marketed under the name Paylean, has been approved in Canada since early last year and has already been used for years in other countries including the U.S., Mexico and Australia.

Paylean, sold by Elanco, is used as a feed supplement to enhance leanness in meat and improve feed efficiency.

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