Washington, D.C. - Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee, recently urged U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to quickly address Russia's new import ban on U.S. beef, poultry and turkey - which would cost the U.S. economy $600 million annually - as the ban is unfounded, not based on sound science and violates World Trade Organization rules. The trade violation stems from Russia's zero-tolerance policy regarding ractopamine, a feed additive for livestock approved by both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Codex Alimentarius Commission, an international organization that sets science-based food safety standards.
Stabenow and Cochran wrote in a letter that Russia has now banned U.S. beef, pork and turkey imports as it imposes its new zero-tolerance standard. With this trade worth $600 million annually, Russia's standard is an egregious trade barrier with no scientific merit.
With your swift action and use of all enforcement tools available, it is our sincere hope that the issues surrounding Russia's import ban can be quickly and decisively resolved thereby ensuring a stable and predictable trading environment for U.S. livestock producers and exporters.