Russia to ban imports of New Zealand beef

Russia is planning to temporarily ban beef and beef by-products from New Zealand, claiming they contain listeria and ractopamine, a banned feed additive.

AFP reports that Russia’s agricultural safety body Rosselkhoznadzor said in a statement that the products had been involved in “repeated violations” of standards.

In addition, the watchdog is considering a similar ban on New Zealand fish because of claims it has been found to contain mercury and listeria microbes.

Chief executive of New Zealand’s Meat Industry Association Tim Ritchie told stuff.co.nz the Ministry for Primary Industries’ residues program had not picked up the presence of ractopamine.

“As far as I’m aware there has been no formal communication through the normal regulatory channels,” he said.

Ractopamine promotes leanness and muscle growth in livestock. In New Zealand, it may be used with pork, but is prohibited for use with sheep and beef cattle.

While it is banned in Russia and the EU, it is allowed in other countries, including the US, Canada and Brazil.

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