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.”
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.
6. The Swine Industry is at a Crossroads