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Russian Ban On U.S. Meat Comes Into Effect

Moscow says it won't lift a ban on U.S. meat products as long as they contain the feed additive ractopamine (file photo).
A Russian ban on meat imports from the United States over a feed additive, ractopamine, came into effect on February 11.

Russia's Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Surveillance Service announced the ban earlier this month because American producers failed to agree to demands that their beef, pork, and turkey exports be certified as free of ractopamine.

Ractopamine is used to boost growth and leanness in animals.

Russia's chief health inspector, Gennady Onishchenko, said that Moscow will lift the ban when the United States stops exporting meat products containing ractopamine.

But he said he expects the ban to remain in place for a long time.

The UN agency for food standards has ruled ractopamine in meat is not harmful for human health at low levels.

Nonetheless, ractopamine is banned in several countries, including China.

Based on reporting by Interfax, ItarTass, and Reuters