The Obama administration has called on Russia to suspend its new requirements that any meat exported to that country must be accompanied by a certificate issued by a government veterinary service indicating the products were “produced without the use of ractopamine.” In a joint statement, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, said, “The United States is very concerned that Russia has taken these actions, which appear to be inconsistent with its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The United States calls on Russia to suspend these new measures and restore market access for U.S. beef and pork products. The United States sought, and Russia committed as part of its WTO accession package, to ensure that it adhered rigorously to WTO requirements and that it would use international standards unless it had a risk assessment to justify use of a more stringent standard. Especially in light of its commitment to use international standards, this is an important opportunity for Russia to demonstrate that it takes its WTO commitments seriously." Administration officials were in Russia last week to discuss this issue.