From 1 December, Russia’s Rosselkhoznador, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, has banned Brazilian pig meat and beef due to concerns that the meat contained muscle growth stimulant ractopamine.
Ractopamine is banned for use in pork production in Russia, China and the EU, but it is used in some countries such as the US and Canada.
According to AHDB Pork, it is unknown how long this ban on imports from Brazil will be in place, however Russia has been increasing domestic pig meat production. Russia recently expanded the embargo against agri-food products which was implemented in August 2014 which was politically motivated. This latest development in Brazilian food safety may cause other countries to further question the safety and traceability of Brazilian meat production.
Earlier in 2017, several Brazilian meat processors were caught in a scandal, bribing food safety inspectors to certify meat that was tainted with salmonella or rotten was suitable for human consumption. Brazilian authorities have stated they will carry out an internal investigation; authorities in both countries have stated they wish to reach an agreement swiftly due to Russia depending heavily on imports of Brazilian meat.