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U.S. Meat Banned

U.S. pork and beef will not be allowed into Russia as of Feb. 11, because it may contain the banned drug ractopamine, which is fed to pigs and cattle to develop lean muscle.

Chilled U.S. pork and beef will not be allowed as of Monday; frozen meat will be prohibited as of Feb. 11, the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service said in a statement.

Ractopamine is banned in 120 countries. In late 2011, Russia told American importers not to send meat that had not been certified as free of the drug. In 2010, Russia prohibited imports of U.S. chickens because they were cleaned with chlorine.

The Russian meat industry is concerned about rising prices due to the impending ban, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

Russian pork, for instance, costs three times more than American imports. Sixty to 70 percent of the meant used in Russia is imported, the daily said.

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