Russia will ban U.S. pork and beef imports starting on Feb. 11 over concerns about ractopamine, a feed additive used in North America to boost growth and leanness that is increasingly controversial overseas, according to Rosselkhoznadzor.

Yevgeny Nepoklonov, deputy head of the Rosselkhoznadzor, addressed a letter to Ronald Jones, assistant administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture. In spite of repeated appeals from the Rosselkhoznadzor, the United States has given no guarantees on the absence of beta-adenostimulator (ractopamine) in animal product consignments supplied on the Russian market. 

The situation is aggravated by the fact that the United States continues exporting meat containing ractopamine residues, which are detected during laboratory monitoring of the imported product. Failure to supply reliable ractopamine-free meat results in undue additional costs spent by the Russian members of foreign trade on disposal, recycling or re-export of products non-compliant with the safety requirements. 

As a result, the Rosselkhoznadzor considered it necessary to impose temporary restrictions on importation of pork and beef, pork and beef raw products and pork and beef finished products from the United States to Russia.