MOSCOW, February 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is planning to lift a ban on the importation of US-produced pork beginning March 10, a federal sanitation regulator said Thursday.
The import of US pork, beef and turkey was halted last February over concerns about the safety of human consumption of the growth-stimulant ractopamine, a common additive in animal feed in the United States.
The US government and the food industry lobby insist that ractopamine has been shown to be safe for human consumption, but meat from animals fed the chemical is prohibited for sale in Russia and more than 150 countries, including all EU member states.
The ban on turkey was lifted earlier this week, and so far poultry from three US companies has been certified as ractopamine-free, according to Russian sanitation authority Rosselkhoznadzor.
The number of US pork producers that would meet that requirement has yet to be determined, the agency said.
US meat producers exported $589 million of beef and pork to Russia in 2012, a spokesman for the US Meat Export Federation told RIA Novosti last year.