(Clarifies USTR spokeswoman's statement)
WASHINGTON Feb 5 A U.S. trade official said on
Tuesday that Russia has not banned imports of U.S. chicken in
addition to bans it has slapped on U.S. beef, pork and turkey
because of concerns over the feed additive ractopamine.
Andrea Mead, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade
Representative's office, was responding to a media report that
Russia's veterinary surveillance agency, known as
Rosselkhoznadzor, was carrying out a probe of U.S. chicken to
see if it contains any residue of the growth stimulant.
It would be a surprise if ractopamine was found in U.S.
chicken shipments to Russia because it is not approved for use
in U.S. chicken production.
Ractopamine is a growth stimulant used to make meat leaner.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved it for use in
beef, pork and turkey production, but not in chicken, a
spokeswoman for the agency said.
Russia has announced plans to ban imports of U.S. turkey,
beef and pork effective Feb. 11 over the use of the additive.
"USTR is working actively with USDA on this issue," Mead
said. Chicken has not been mentioned in any of the
communications from Russia, she added.
Some countries ban the additive because of concern trace
elements could remain in the meat and cause health problems.
The United Nations' food safety body, the Codex Alimentarius
Commission, in July found the additive had "no impact on human
health" if residue remains within recommended levels.
(Reporting by Doug Palmer; editing by Maureen Bavdek, G Crosse)