Russia is set to impose new restrictions on its meat imports, which are expected to be related to concerns over use of the feed additive ractopamine in Canadian livestock. Russia has restricted the import of Canadian meats that contain the additive since December and is anticipated to tighten the regulations further, reports The Globe and Mail.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association says that the new restrictions will likely exclude all Canadian beef from entering Russia. John Masswohl, the group’s director of government and international relations, said he believes that Russia will only allow the import of meat that has been certified to be without additives at a Canadian plant that does not use any ractopamine-laced feed. Masswohl says such a plant does not exist.

“The truth is that Russia has low meat and livestock prices and they want to prevent meat from being imported. That’s what this is about,” Masswohl said. “They need to learn that there’s consequences for not playing by the rules, and that may mean a trade dispute, that may mean a process in Geneva, that may mean some kind of international embarrassment.”

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said the government was “disappointed” in Russia for going ahead with these restrictions.

“Our government is disappointed that despite our collaborative efforts, the Russian government is moving forward with this measure not rooted in science,” he said in an e-mailed statement.

Source: The Globe and Mail