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Russia bans U.S. meat and meat products

02/11/2013 @ 6:35am

Russia's consumer watchdog said Monday that an almost full ban on the U.S. imports of meat and meat products over feed additive ractopamine will apparently be lengthy, Interfax news agency reported.

"The restrictions will be in force until a solution is found. Either they agree with us and begin supplies without the said stimulator or collect proof and go to court," Gennady Onishchenko, head of the consumer watchdog told the news agency.

"We have scientific proof collected into 13 clauses that ractopamine is unsafe," he added. "Additional research is necessary on the safety of the said stimulator, and it is the U.S. who should conduct it," he told the agency.

Russia has banned pork, beef as well as meat products imports from the U.S. starting Monday over the use of ractopamine.

Russia has pressed the U.S. to certify its pork and beef exports are ractopamine-free, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture has opposed the trade requirement, saying it breaks Russia's commitments as a member of the World Trade Organization.

Russia is one of the top-10 importers of U.S. meat. U.S. beef exports to Russia totaled $254.5 million in the first 11 months of 2012, 21% higher than the previous year, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Pork exports for the period were valued at $267.8 million.

Agency Website: www.interfax.ru

Write to the Moscow Bureau at djnews.moscow@dowjones.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 11, 2013 05:02 ET (10:02 GMT)

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