WASHINGTON – Russia has imposed suspensions against two US pork processing plants – the JBS Marshalltown, Iowa plant and Smithfield Foods-owned John Morrell plant in Sioux City, SD, – according to the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service. Russia relays the suspensions are the result of the country's discovery of excessive amounts of tetracycline in shipments, according to the Times-Republican.

Russia agreed last March to reinstate imports from 13 other US plants after claiming it found traces of banned antibiotics in meat shipped by the companies. Tetracycline, which is commonly used with pork and chicken to ward off bacterial infections, is a feed additive.

Since Dec. 2009, USDA and the Office of the US Trade Representative had been in negotiations with the Russian Veterinary Service. Talks resulted in developing a new veterinary certificate to ensure pork exports from the US meet microbiological and tetracycline-group antibiotic residue requirements. The Marshalltown company transports product to approximately 26 countries.

Both plants can ship product which is certified for export until the ban takes effect Nov. 4, FSIS said.