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Brazil will investigate the presence of ractopamine in meat exported to Russia

The Brazilian government today contacted the Russian health authorities to request reports that detected the presence of ractopamine in pork exported to that country, from which will initiate an investigation, informed official sources.

Brasilia, Nov 21 (EFE) .- The Brazilian government today contacted the Russian health authorities to request reports that detected the presence of ractopamine in pork exported to that country, from which will initiate an investigation, informed official sources.

The Ministry of Agriculture "requested the sending of certificates" of the services of inspection, as well as the laboratory reports "indicating the presence of the growth stimulant" in order to make "an internal investigation and, consequently, the corrections necessary in a positive case, "he said in a statement.

Russia temporarily banned the importation of beef and pork from Brazil as of December 1, due to the non-compliance with sanitary regulations, as reported on the eve by the Federal Service of Veterinary and Phytosanitary Control (Rosseljoznadzor).

However, the Ministry of Agriculture stressed that "so far has not received from the Russian Government any notification of suspension of Brazilian beef and pork", only the notice about the presence of ractopamine, a drug used as an additive to promote muscle growth in the animal.

In his defense, he stated that Brazil uses "the system of segregation of pigs for the export of meat to Russia, which would make it impossible to detect ractopamine. "

The documents with the analyzes were already delivered to the Brazilian embassy in Russia, in Moscow, and they are being translated so that they can be sent to the South American giant, which is one of the largest meat exporters in the world.

Rosseljoznadzor recently announced that would impose an additional control regime on meat products from six Brazilian companies whose supplies do not comply with veterinary and sanitary standards Russian.

In 2016, Russia was the fourth largest market for exports of Brazilian beef behind Hong Kong, China and Egypt, according to data from the Brazilian Association of Meat Export Industries.

In March several Brazilian meat companies were the subject of the so-called "Meat Weak" operation ("Carne Fraca" in Portuguese), which uncovered a mafia of producers that bribed health prosecutors to sell meats in poor condition or adulterated both in national territory and abroad.

That scandal led to a score of importers, including important markets such as China, Hong Kong and the European Union (EU), to impose temporary restrictions on Brazilian meats, which have already been lifted.

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