CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Russia may halt US beef, pork imports -USMEF

Fri Dec 7, 2012 1:05pm EST
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(Corrects to add dropped word "not" in second paragraph)

By Theopolis Waters

CHICAGO Dec 7 (Reuters) - Russia wants U.S. pork and beef exported to that country to be tested and certified free of the feed additive ractopamine, the U.S. Meat Export Federation said on Friday.

USMEF said that since the U.S. Department of Agriculture did not have a testing and certification program in place for ractopamine, the Russian requirement could effectively halt U.S. pork and beef exports to the country by Saturday.

The federation said that more than 210 shipping containers of U.S. pork and beef valued at more than $20 million were currently on their way to Russia.

"...this new requirement effectively means that the Russian market will be closed to pork and beef exports beginning this Saturday (December 8)," the federation said in an email to members that was obtained by Reuters.

USMEF spokesman Joe Schuele confirmed the email.

"The deadline is concerning because of an inability to meet this paperwork requirement," said Schuele.

A USDA spokesman was not immediately available for comment.   Continued...