MOSCOW — Russia has imposed what it calls “temporary restrictions” on pork imports from the United States and Canada on allegations that ractopamine was found in pork exports. Additionally, Russia threatened Brazil with similar action.

Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, said the agency imposed the ban after ractopamine was found in pork imports from John Morrell, Sioux Falls, SD and Canada-based Aliments Asta Inc. and Quality Meat Packers Ltd. The US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said that pork from John Morrell would be ineligible to export pork to Russia effective Jan. 23.

Rosselkhoznadzor also warned Brazil it would take similar action against Brazilian companies Seara Alimentos Ltda. and Sadia S.A.

"Due to initial detection of violations the Rosselkhoznadzor enhances laboratory control over products from Brazilian Plant No. 490 [SEARA ALIMENTOS LTDA] and 3681 [SADIA S.A.], the agency reported on its web site. “In case equivalent violations are further detected, the Rosselkhoznadzor will have to impose temporary restrictions on import of products to Russia from these Brazilian plants.”

FSIS warned the meat industry about a possible ban on US beef and pork exports because of Moscow’s requirement that meat be tested and certified free of ractopamine, a feed additive. Russia implemented the requirement within days of the US Senate's passage of the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012, which established Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia.

The bill also would punish Russian human rights violators. Analysts have linked passage of the bill to Russia’s move on ractopamine residues, characterizing the new regulation on the feed additive as political retaliation.