(Farm minister's office corrects his comment in paragraph 10
that new China crush plants are accepting canola, to say that
he's hopeful of new access)
* Canada farm minister sees new China requirement eventually
* Says Canadian meat has better access to Russia than US
By Rod Nickel
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Feb 25 China is not yet
requiring a third-party review of Canadian pork imports to
ensure they are free of the feed additive ractopamine, Canadian
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said on Monday.
But Ritz said he expects China to require third-party
verification of Canadian pork at some point, as it will require
of U.S. pork shipments starting March 1.
"We haven't seen that. We fully expect it to happen," Ritz
told reporters at the Grainworld conference in Winnipeg.
Most Canadian pork shipments to China are free of
ractopamine, a drug that promotes lean muscle growth, Ritz said.
The minister said he expects to discuss the issue with
Chinese officials when he visits China in spring. Canada has not
received any formal notification from China of a change, he
Russia banned U.S. meat imports earlier this month over
fears about ractopamine, but has not taken as strict a position
on Canadian shipments, Ritz said.
"We haven't shied away from stating our displeasure (with
Russia) at the way this is being done, but you have to be able
to adapt and facilitate trade. We've been able to do that."
Canadian beef and pork is still moving to Russia, Ritz said,
while U.S. shipments to Russia are "spotty.".
Canada is the world's third-largest exporter of pork.
Ritz is hopeful China will approve more of its domestic
crushing facilities to accept Canadian canola with blackleg, a
fungal disease that is present in much of the Canadian crop, a
spokesman for Ritz said.
China, the No. 2 canola/rapeseed grower behind Canada, has
restricted imports of Canadian canola with blackleg to a handful
of crushing plants since late 2009. Those limited concessions
are temporary exceptions to an outright ban, and are up for
(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by
Gerald E. McCormick, Maureen Bavdek and Bob Burgdorfer)