Rosselkhoznadzor, the Russian federal service for veterinary and phytosanitary surveillance,can be expected in February to provide its conclusion of the United States' ractopamine-free program proposed by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). If Rosselkhoznadzor is satisfied with the program, the import of U.S. turkey meat to Russia and the Customs Union (CU) can be resumed.

Sergey Dankvert, head of Rosselkhoznadzor, discussed the ractopamine-free program in a telephone conversation with FSIS Administrator Alfred Almanza. The program, Dankvert stressed, must provide for a mandatory laboratory control ensuring zero tolerance of ractopamine in products intended for Russian and CU markets.

Almanza, according to a Rosselkhoznadzor news release, expressed his appreciation for the inspection of turkey meat establishments carried out in December 2013, as well as for the timely review of the proposals regarding the export of ractopamine-free turkey meat to the CU. He also addressed Dankvert with the request to consider the feasibility of export of pork from several American plants enrolled in the ractopamine non-use program to Russia. It was agreed that FSIS would provide Rosselkhoznadzor with an official letter describing the proposed program for ractopamine-free pork production. The decision on resuming pork imports against guarantees of FSIS will be made following the review of the program by the Rosselkhoznadzor's experts.