Russia to restrict Brazilian pork and beef imports

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Polina Devitt

Russia will place temporary restrictions on imports of pork and beef products from Brazil from Dec. 1, the country’s Rosselkhoznadzor food safety watchdog said on Monday.

Russia said last week it was considering a ban on all pork and beef imports from Brazil after finding the feed additive ractopamine in some shipments, an allegation Brazilian meat industry groups denied.

“Given the seriousness of the situation, Rosselkhoznadzor is forced to take urgent measures to protect Russian consumers and the domestic food market and introduce temporary restrictions from Dec. 1 this year,” the agency said in a statement.

Ractopamine is banned in Russia, though some countries deem it safe for human consumption.

“All Brazilian meatpacking companies are obliged to check cattle for ractopamine... Our inconformity problems, from what I can remember, do not include that,” Antonio Jorge Camardelli, head of beef exporters association Abiec, told Reuters.

He said Brazil ships between 7,000 and 9,000 tonnes of beef to Russia every month and companies are “comfortable” regarding the health status of the cargos.

ABPA, an association representing pork producers, also denied the possibility of shipments containing the additive. Russia buys around 40 percent of all Brazilian pork exports.

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