UPDATE 3-Russia to ban meat from most Canadian, Mexican suppliers

Fri Apr 5, 2013 1:51pm EDT
 
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* No clarity on new list of pork and beef suppliers

* South America suppliers, mainly Brazil, to cover demand

* Cargill, JBS, Maple Leaf Foods, Olymel biggest Canada packers

MOSCOW, April 5 (Reuters) - Russia plans to ban meat imports from most Canadian and Mexican suppliers from April 8 over concerns about the use of the feed additive ractopamine, Russia's veterinary and phytosanitary service (VPSS) said on Friday.

"More than 50 percent of Canadian companies will be excluded from the list of suppliers," VPSS spokesman Alexei Alekseenko said.

Russia also plans to ban about 80 percent of Mexican meat importers from April 8, Interfax news agency reported earlier on Friday, citing the head of VPSS Sergei Dankvert.

Canada was the largest pork supplier to Russia and accounted for 25 percent of its imports in 2012, Sergei Yushin, head of Russia's National Meat Association, told Reuters. About 5 percent of imported beef came to Russia from Mexico last year.

VPSS's list of Canadian pork suppliers, published on its website www.fsvps.ru, includes about 88 companies, while the list for Mexico includes 20 names. A VPSS spokesman could not comment on whether these lists had been updated.

Used as a growth stimulant to make meat leaner, ractopamine is banned in some countries over concerns that residues could remain in the meat and cause health problems, despite scientific evidence indicating that it is safe.   Continued...