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Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption


Lost Meat Sales to Russia Over Ractopamine Costing Millions, Not Billions


The ban on U.S. pork and beef exports to Russia over ractopamine is costly for American producers, but not as much as was recently reported by the U.S. Ambassador. U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul told a Moscow business newspaper that the year-old ban had cost America’s pork and beef industries $4-5 billion. The ban… Continue Reading

USDA Introduces Certification Program for Meat Without Growth-Enhancing Drugs


A new U.S. Department of Agriculture certification program for livestock producers may permit them to market their products with a special “Never Fed Beta Agonists” label. Beta agonists are feed additives used to increase muscle mass and promote weight gain in livestock animals. The drugs are typically added to feed along with vitamins and given… Continue Reading

Smithfield Sale Raises New Questions About the Future of Ractopamine


The sale of Smithfield Foods, the United States’ largest pork producer, to Shuanghui International, China’s largest meat company, raises new questions about the future of ractopamine, a controversial growth-promoting drug that is widely used in U.S. pork production and has long been the subject of trade disputes. As a report by the Food & Environment… Continue Reading

Senators Urge U.S. Trade Rep to Resolve Russian Ractopamine Ban


Thirty-three U.S. senators from livestock states, including Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Thad Cochran (R-MS), chairwoman and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, on Tuesday sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk urging him to “quickly address” Russia’s recent ban on all U.S. beef, pork and turkey over residues of ractopamine, an animal… Continue Reading

Escalating Trade Dispute, Russia Bans Turkey Over Ractopamine Residues


Russia will ban U.S. turkey products over concerns about the controversial animal drug ractopamine, the country’s Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS) announced this week. The news comes a few days after Russia announced it will block U.S. beef and pork as of Feb. 11 due to a lack of compliance to its zero-tolerance policy… Continue Reading

Russia to Ban U.S. Meat Over Ractopamine Residues This Month

Russia will ban U.S. pork and beef imports starting this month over concerns about ractopamine, a veterinary drug commonly used in North America to boost growth and leanness that is increasingly controversial overseas, according to Russian media reports. “Since the violations continue and we are finding ractopamine in meat shipments from the USA, we plan… Continue Reading

FDA Petitioned to Lower Ractopamine Limits for Meat, Review Health Impacts


Animal rights and food safety groups are petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to immediately lower the allowed residue limits for ractopamine — a controversial drug used to boost growth and leanness in meat production — and to study the drug’s effects on human health and animal welfare. The petition comes just days after… Continue Reading

U.S. and Russia Spar Over Ractopamine in Pork and Beef


The long-running international dispute over ractopamine, a drug used to boost growth and leanness in pork and beef production, has become even more contentious in recent weeks. Russia, which is an increasingly important export market for U.S. meat products, announced it will no longer accept meat from animals raised on the drug, and it will… Continue Reading

Consumer Reports Finds Most Pork Contaminated With Yersinia


In a new study of raw pork chops and ground pork, Consumer Reports found 69 percent of samples were contaminated with Yersinia enterocolitica, according to a report published by the group today. A lesser-known foodborne pathogen, Yersinia enterocolitica can cause fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea, lasting one to three weeks, according to the Centers for… Continue Reading

Codex Adopts Ractopamine Limits for Beef and Pork

Contentious 69-67 vote on key trade issue pits United States against China and the EU

After years of scientific and political stalemate, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a UN food standards-setting body, narrowly voted to advance a residue limit for ractopamine hydrochloride, a controversial veterinary drug used in food animal production. The 69-67 vote to adopt a Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for the beta agonist — which is approved for boosting… Continue Reading