The American Meat Institute (AMI) calls Russian actions to ban U.S. pork products – valued at $165 million in 2007 – “inconsistent with standards set by Codex Alimentarius, the international food safety standard-setting body.”

The AMI statement continued: “Codex Alimentarius sets tolerance levels for very low residues of drugs commonly used to treat pigs – residues so low they are harmless to human health, according to scientists. Russia, however, has adopted a ‘zero tolerance’ for any level of some antibiotic residues. Russia stands alone globally in holding the United States to these standards.

“Russia’s continued actions to move toward full closure of the market to U.S. pork are frustrating and inexplicable trade barriers that simply cannot be supported scientifically. U.S. pork has an excellent reputation for safety worldwide. We appreciate USDA’s efforts to better understand the rationale behind Russia’s actions and to bring the actions to a swift resolution so that full pork trade with Russia may resume.”

Seven Smithfield Foods pork facilities have been banned since late November, along with Pork King Packing in Marengo, IL, and Hatfield Quality Meats in Hatfield, PA.

Russia cited findings of oxytetracycline as the reason for the bans and threatened to close the market entirely if the United States doesn’t comply with its quality standards.

Top Viewed Articles for 2009

1. Free Selection Guides and Management Posters
2. New Product Tour 2009
3. What is Net Present Value?
4. Cash Flow Hedges Have Accounting Implications
5. Dealing with H1N1 Flu Questions

6. The Swine Industry is at a Crossroads
7. Feed Alternatives Not A Quick Nutritional Fix
8. Big Guys Announce Sow Herd Cuts, Others Wait
9. Pork Industry Here to Stay
10. Putting the Hog:Corn Ratio in Context