Wednesday, June 5

Large pork deal comes amid friction over animal drugs

Large pork deal comes amid friction over animal drugs
TRUCK 30 may 2013 make the path around the Smithfield Foods packing plant in Smithfield, Virginia.

The proposed $4.7 billion sale of Smithfield Foods, America's largest pork producer, China's largest meat-processing company comes amid major trade friction between the two countries over meat and livestock.

China bans Ractopamine, a controversial growth-enhancing drug, which is used by U.S. farmers. Also the feed additive forbids Russia, and both countries have increased residues in meat, recently worried about the health effects of the drug test. The actions have restricted American meat exports.

The U.S. Administration approved food and drug Ractopamine as surely more than a decade ago and followed by more than two dozen other countries. But China, Russia, the European Union and some other countries provide its security in question and on the drug, a beta agonist, refuse meat from animals, the muscle mass growth and increases the rate of the animals convert feed into meat to accept.

Industry experts say that a factor in the sale of US pork giant may have been the long-running trade battle as China tries to access to more pork, which is by far the most consumed the country is meat.

Third you "This (deal) is output, probably a direct result of Ractopamine" John Saunders, CEO of where food comes, said that helps companies make marketing claims companies.

The U.S. pork industry, which sold in the last year more than a quarter of its products abroad, creating now separate Ractopamine-free supply chains, more access to overseas markets and meet the demands of Russia and China.

In March, Inc. Smithfield, converts the tar heel, N.C. factory - the world's largest pork processing plant-, only pigs to battles that have been raised without the use of Ractopamine.

With the conversion of his third 50 percent the product line of the company Ractopamine-free are from June 1. The company would not say how much export of Ractopamine-free pork to China, but it said shipping product there is "every day."

Earlier this year China and Russia demanded that all American meat export Ractopamine-free certified be.

The U.S. Government initially denied these certification requirements, allowing Russia its market for U.S. beef and pork in the February shutdown. An official who spoke to US trade representative office - was announced prior to the Smithfield-deal - bans the Government said "extremely worried" is about the "unjustified" and continue their limitations apply to China, Russia and others are involved.

IMI global, Inc., a division of where food comes from, a USDA process has ensured that pork certification program that would and beef as spread of animals not Ractopamine or Zilpaterol, a more beta-agonist in cattle fed requested. Under a similar program, the company already verifies that meat under the leadership of the EU their import requirements met US to prohibit the growth of any kind.

US trade officials would not comment on when a certification program could be approved, but many in the industry see it as inevitable.

"We had to submit talks with a majority of beef and pork Packer--their way on this issue," said Saunders, CEO of where food comes from. "all of them are engaged in talks to do so."

The US meat export Federation (USMEF) has estimated that the Russian market to lose more than 560 million $ turnover will be cut, but the overall effect is projected millions to be closer to $800, because some buys the items Russia such as beef liver, ham, to global supply and prices.

While US beef closed, China is a significant market for pork. Last year, China bought nearly 16 percent of all U.S. pork, valued at more than $700 million, according to the USMEF.

Although China has to accept US pork, as long as the companies assure that it is free of Ractopamine residues, which in recent months strengthened tests and calls has the Chinese Government now, third-party certification authorities check whether the additive is avoided. After USMEF, USDA officials have requested a meeting in Moscow June 17 Russian officials with a government program for Russia's claims to present checks.

"In the last three months these questions really have started to hit companies bottom line,", said Keith Belk, a meat safety and quality Professor at Colorado State University.

Belk, said the situation "from day to day as more will change companies mull" whether she created a Ractopamine free program for export.

In the United States, some consumer advocates are concerned that the majority of the Ractopamine-free pork from abroad will be sent.

"Americans, the not always the pork Ractopamine-free", Elisabeth said that Holmes, a staff attorney for the Center for food safety, recently one of the FDA petition to a re-evaluation of the drug effects on human health and welfare of animals and reduce the trace residues, which securely holds the Agency in meat products.

The petition, co filed by animal Legal Defense Fund in December, cited by the food & environmental reporting network 2012 report on, which found that Ractopamine more reported that pigs than any other veterinary drug side effects had brought experience in connection. Hyperactivity, difficulty walking and death often cited reports from manufacturers.

The FDA says that the reports do not constitute, the drug causes side effects and claims that Ractopamine is a safe and effective connection for food welfare.

While few consumers aware, the use in meat production are Ractopamine, the drug has at the center of international trade disputes for several years. The EU-questions-the science behind the feed additive, China says that it is concerned about the higher levels of the residues of drugs the is pig organs that include a traditional Chinese diet, and Russia claims that the drug could endanger health.

This article was by the food and environment-reporting network, an independent, non-profit news organization that produces investigative reporting on food, agriculture and environment and health.

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