Russia is considering imposing restrictions on meat imports from a number of countries over fears that they use the growth promoter ractopamine in animal feed.
The Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor), which is already threatening to maintain a ban on Brazilian meat if the drug is found, said that it suspected meat production enterprises in the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia are using the drug.
Rosselkhoznadzor said that if it finds ractopamine in meat products imported from any other country, it will also consider imposing temporary restrictions on meat imports from that country.
Ractopamine stimulates the growth of muscle tissue and is banned in Russia and the Customs Union over concerns that it could have a negative effect on human health.
The use of ractopamine has been a major barrier to re-instating trade between Russia and Brazil. Dankvert said that a recently returned delegation from Brazil had brought disappointing results. According to Dankvert, for this reason, pig farms which have been included on the list of suppliers under the guarantee of Brazil's veterinary services will not necessarily receive approval for exports to Russia.