UPDATE 3-Canadian pork shippers to meet Russia's new requirement

Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:02pm EST
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* Shippers to test pork for ractopamine in labs

* Canadian government says Russia stance not science-based

By Rod Nickel and Melissa Akin

WINNIPEG, Manitoba/MOSCOW, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Canadian pork shippers will comply with Russia's new zero tolerance requirement for the feed additive ractopamine in meat shipments, Canada Pork International said on Wednesday.

In a letter to Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (VPSS), the industry group said that, as of Dec. 7, all Canadian pork exports destined for Russia are being tested to ensure they are free of ractopamine.

Russia is Canada's second-biggest pork export market in volume.

The tests are being conducted at one of three laboratories certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The government agency's export certificates now must be accompanied by lab tests negative for ractopamine, Jacques Pomerleau, executive director of Canada Pork International told Reuters in an interview.

"Since the Russians are requiring those tests, it's up to the companies to have the product tested and the results must be provided to CFIA so they can attach it to the certificates," Pomerleau said. "We need to comply with the Russian requirement. Russia is a very big market for Canada."

Canada Pork sent the letter to VPSS to clarify the shippers' position - that there is a strong consensus to comply with the requirement, Pomerleau said.   Continued...