MOSCOW/CHICAGO Feb 4 Russia will ban imports of
U.S. turkey because of concerns about the use of feed additive
ractopamine, Russia's Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Surveillance
Service (VPSS) said in a statement on Monday.
The service will impose a temporary ban on U.S. turkey
starting from Feb. 11, it said.
It earlier decided to ban imports of U.S. beef and pork from
the same date for the same reason.
A U.S. poultry trade group on Monday said U.S. turkey
companies that ship to Russia do not use ractopamine.
Ractopamine is a growth stimulant used to make meat leaner
and which is banned in some countries because of concerns it
could remain in the meat and cause health problems, despite
scientific evidence showing it is safe.
Russia imported 356,800 tonnes of poultry worth $516 million
from non-CIS countries between January and October 2012, customs
The United States, through November last year, exported
3,930 tonnes of turkey to Russia valued at $7.8 million, which
was up 115 and 118 percent from 2011 in terms of quantity and
value, respectively, according to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service.
A U.S. Agriculture Department spokesman said they were aware
of reports Russia plans to ban imports of U.S. turkey meat, but
"have received no official communications from the Russian
Veterinary Service on this matter.
"Clearly we would have great concerns about any such action"
if it were to occur, the spokesman added.
U.S. industry officials also said the situation was unclear.
"We've seen similar reports in the Russian media, but cannot
confirm them as Russia has made no official notification to the
U.S. government," said USA Poultry & Egg Export Council
President James Sumner.
USAPEEC has found that U.S. turkey companies that ship to
Russia do not use ractopamine in their flocks.
"So, if this is true, we're hopeful that it's only a
misunderstanding and that it can be resolved without impacting
our turkey exports to Russia," Sumner said.
Leading U.S. turkey producer Cargill Inc has not exported
turkey to Russia for at least five or six years because of that
country's import restrictions, said company spokesman Michael
Martin. Cargill does not disclose its feed formulas, he said.
Analysts have said Russia's action against U.S. meat was
linked to the Senate's passage of the trade bill that sought to
punish Russian human rights violators, something the government