Food Engineering

US Agriculture Secretary responds to Russian suspension of US meat imports

Russian authorities object to the use of ractopamine in livestock.

February 15, 2013

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released a statement in response to Russian suspension of US meat imports, saying:

“The United States is very disappointed that Russia has taken action to suspend all imports of US meat, which is produced to the highest safety standard in the world. Russia has disregarded the extensive and expert scientific studies conducted by the international food safety standards body, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), which has repeatedly concluded that animal feed containing the additive ractopamine is completely safe for livestock and for humans that consume their meat. Russia's failure to adopt the Codex standard raises questions about its commitment to the global trading system. Despite repeated US requests to discuss the safety of ractopamine, Russia has refused to engage in any constructive dialogue and instead has simply suspended US meat imports. The United States calls on Russia to restore market access for US meat and meat products immediately and to abide by its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization."

Russia suspended imports of US beef, turkey, pork and other meat products on February 11, 2013 by enacting a zero tolerance policy for the presence of ractopamine. China, the EU and others have banned its use, but the lean growth drug is allowed in the US.