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Report signals country to bar shipments from 1 U.S. plant and 2 Canadian plants; to step up testing from Brazil.
The compound ractopamine has been found in shipments of pork from the U.S., Canada and Brazil, according to report from Interfax, and Russia will bar imports from one U.S. and two Canadian plants as a result. Further, the report said that imports from Brazil will see stepped up testing as a result of the find.
The report said that imports of pork would be barred from a U.S. John Morrell plant and Canadian companies Aliments Asta Inc. and Quality Meat Packers Ltd.
The report also said a first violation was found in other plants and stepped-up testing will be put in place for Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Les Aliments Maple Leaf Inc., Great Lakes Specialty Meats of Canada Inc, Atrahan Transformation Inc. and Fearmans Pork Inc. Should additional violations happen, the report said the veterinary agency signaled that temporary restrictions would be imposed on shipments from those companies.
While the report signaled the import halt, there has been no confirmation from USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of any change in status for U.S. plants eligible to ship pork to Russia. If the report is correct, the affected U.S. plant is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Agra Europe reported the following on the situation:
"In a statement, Rosselkhoznadzor deputy Eugene Nepoklonov said he had written to his counterpart at the U.S. Department of Agriculture informing him that ractopamine had been detected in frozen pork supplied by John Morrell, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods.
"He also wrote to Canada's chief veterinary officer Ian Alexander, telling him that laboratory tests revealed ractopamine residues in pork supplied by Fearmans Pork, Maple Leaf Foods and Great Lakes Specialty Meats of Canada. Rosselkoznadzor said it would start carrying out enhanced laboratory tests on product from these three suppliers, warning they would face temporary restrictions if similar violations are detected in the future. The agency said it would also be suspending imports from two other Canadian companies, who were already on a final warning."
Ractopamine was also found in a shipment from a firm in Brazil, and the Russian agency has put stepped up testing in place for products from Seara Alimentos and Sadia S.A.
COMMENTS: This is the first reported finds but given the above situation where shipments are halted from one U.S. and two Canadian plants, there apparently have been previous finds of ractopamine in shipments. Prior to today, no public mention of ractopamine finds has been made. This will now put to test Russia's membership in the WTO.