Russia to ban U.S. turkey as well as beef and pork over feed additive

Turkey is now included in the ban

moscow / reuters Russia will ban imports of U.S. turkey due to concerns about the use of the feed additive ractopamine, Russia’s Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS) said in a statement Feb. 4.

The service will impose a temporary ban on U.S. turkey starting from Feb. 11, it said.

It earlier decided to ban imports of U.S. beef and pork from the same date for the same reason.

Ractopamine is a growth stimulant used to make meat leaner and which is banned in some countries because of concerns that it could remain in the meat and cause health problems, despite scientific evidence showing that it is safe.

Russia imported 356,800 tonnes of poultry worth $516 million from non-CIS countries between January and October 2012, customs data showed.

The United States Feb.1 strongly objected to Russia’s decision to ban all imports of U.S. beef and pork because it could have traces of the feed additive ractopamine, a growth stimulant to make meat leaner.

“These actions threaten to undermine our bilateral trade relationship,” Andrea Mead, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, said. “They are not consistent with international standards and appear to be inconsistent with Russia’s WTO (World Trade Organization) commitments.”

Russia’s VPSS said in a statement it would impose a temporary ban on U.S. beef and pork starting on Feb. 11.

The move has been in the works for weeks and appears to be one of several tit-for-tat moves taken by Moscow since the U.S. Congress passed legislation in December to punish Russian human rights violators.

Ractopamine is banned in some countries because of concerns that residues could remain in the meat and cause health problems, despite scientific evidence it is safe.

“We… continue to call on Russia to suspend these unjustified measures and restore market access for U.S. beef and pork products,” Mead said.

Russia got 7.5 per cent of its imported beef and 11.4 per cent of its imported pork from the United States from January to September 2012.

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