Russia bans meat imports from Brazil

Russia bans meat imports from Brazil

Russia has decided to suspend imports of pork and beef from Brazil from Dec 1 after traces of banned feed additives were detected in the meat, the country's agricultural safety Rosselkhoznadzor agency said on Monday. The government barred Brazilian pork and beef imports that testing had found the muscle growth stimulant ractopamine, which is prohibited in Russia. A Brazilian lobby for the industry said the feed additive isn’t used in production of the exported meat, which adheres to Russian rules. Ractopamine is used to promote the development of lean meat. It is banned by Russia and the European Union (EU) due to human health risk concerns, but it is allowed in the United States, Canada and Brazil, among other countries.

Total imports of pork to Russia are rising for the first year in four and may reach 300,000 metric tons, according to Russia’s National Pig Farmers Union. Supply from Brazil, which make up 90 percent of the shipments, are competing with local producers on price, the union said. Russia imported 230,395 tons of Brazilian pork this year through October, about 40 percent of the Latin American country’s total shipments, figures from Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry show. It also imported 131,083 tons of beef, about 11 percent of the total.

In February, Russia imposed a temporary ban on imports of beef and beef by-products from New Zealand, after traces of ractopamine were found.