Rosselhohznadzor said it will prevent the import of any meat produced from animals fed using the beta-blocker

Rosselhohznadzor said it will prevent the import of any meat produced from animals fed using the beta-blocker

Russian has banned the import of US meat amid concern over the use of growth stimulator Ractopamin.

Russia's Federal Agency for Agricultural Control, Rosselhohznadzor, said it will prevent the import of any meat produced from animals fed using the beta-blocker, which is used to also reduce the content of fat in beef and pork.

This drug is banned for use in 160 countries, including Russia and China, but is allowed in 24 countries, including Canada and the US.

Rosselkhoznadzor said any imported controlled products must be accompanied with documention confirming the products were manufactured without using Ractopamin.

"If there is no such document the access of each imported consignment to the Russian market is possible only after laboratory analysis for Ractopamin detection has been conducted," the agency said. "Such system will be in place during the transmission period which will be identified additionally.

"During this period the Veterinary Services of exporting countries must establish systems of laboratory checks for the presence of Ractopamin in imported products and support each product consignment meant for the Russian Market and other CU countries with a laboratory act that testifies the absence of ractopamin in it."

The move could jeopardise around US$500m a year in exports of US beef and pork to Russia, according to Reuters.

The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) said it does not comment on ongoing government-to-government discussions.

However, it said it supports calls by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for Russia to suspend the new measures and "restore market access" for US beef and pork products.

"Later this week, further meetings will take place between representatives of the US and Russian governments and USMEF looks forward to the outcome of these discussions," USMEF said.