Russia lifts U.S. pork ban

By Daniel Enoch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, March 12 2014 - Russia has lifted its blanket ban on U.S. pork, and USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has approved two Smithfield plants to export the meat to the country. According to an FSIS update last week, U.S. pork suppliers must meet the requirements of USDA's Never Fed Beta Agonist Program as well as submit to monthly testing.

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In early 2013, Russia enacted a zero tolerance requirement for the presence of ractopamine, a beta agonist feed additive, effectively banning imports of all U.S. beef, pork and turkey. According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), the value of pork exports to Russia totaled $202.9 million from January to September, 2012.

Joe Schuele, spokesman for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), said while FSIS's announcement signals the first tangible step toward reinstated pork exports to Russia, the ability to actually move product overseas is inhibited by the lack of approved cold storage facilities.

“That's what we're waiting for more details on,” he said. FSIS also noted that turkey meat can now be exported to Russia, but it must come from flocks never fed feed containing ractopamine.

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