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Russia bans Brazil meat over additives

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A worker arranges slaughtered cattle in the freezing room in the Marfrig Group slaughter house in Promissao, 500 km northwest of Sao Paulo. -- REUTERS

RUSSIA has decided to suspend imports of pork and beef from Brazil from Dec. 1 after traces of banned feed additives were detected in the meat, the country’s agricultural safety watchdog said Monday.

Russia’s Rosselkhoznadzor agency said in a statement that ractopamine and other “growth hormones” had been detected in Brazilian meat imports.

Ractopamine is used to promote the development of lean meat. It is banned by Russia and the European Union (EU) due to human health risk concerns, but it is allowed in the United States, Canada and Brazil, among other countries.

The agency said that it had been forced to take “severe measures to protect Russian consumers” and impose “temporary restrictions” on the pork and beef imports from Dec. 1.

The decision will further restrict Russia’s meat imports after those from the EU, US, Canada, Australia and other western countries have been banned due to an agricultural embargo imposed in response to western sanctions in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.

In February, Russia imposed a temporary ban on imports of beef and beef by-products from New Zealand, after traces of ractopamine were found. — AFP

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