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Moscow Bans Australian Beef Byproducts

Russia has imposed a ban on Australian beef byproducts over the use of a growth stimulant that Moscow considers unsafe.

The temporary restrictions also affect Belarus and Kazakhstan, which are both part of a Moscow-led Customs Union.

Russia's agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said the ban was imposed after the discovery of the growth stimulant trenbolone "in several shipments" of Australian beef byproducts, such as offal.

Australia has requested a meeting with Russian officials over the ban.

Australia is the world's third-largest exporter of beef after the United States and Brazil.

It reported shipping 30,000 tons of beef to Russia in 2013.

The Interfax news agency said Australia had sent 13,000 tons of beef byproducts worth $21.3 million to former Soviet countries in the first 10 months of 2013 -- most of them to Russia.

Based on reporting by Interfax and AFP

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