Moscow has banned the import of US beef, pork and Turkey on an on-going basis until the US is willing to guarantee none of the products contain ractopamine. Ractopamine is a feed additive that promotes leanness in animals raised for their meat. The substance is banned in Russiam China and Europe. Although excreted readily by humans, and having a half life of just four hours, some studies have linked ractopamine with chromasomal leukocyte changes in humans. It is well documented that it causes irritability and aggression in pigs and research is ongoing as to whether these effects can be passed via the meat to humans.
The move is expected to cost the US 4500m annually in lost revenue and has raised suspicions that the move is more protectionism for Russian livestock producers than it is for health reasons. Many have considered it’s a knee-jerk reaction, a punishment after US Congress passed legislation in December 2012 that allows punishment of Russian human rights violators.
The Russian news agency Interfax Relations have quoted Grennady Onishcjenko, head of Russia’s consumer safety program as saying:
“The ban on practically all US meat and meat products will be long term.”
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Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!