WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government on Monday pressed Russia to honor its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and lift a trade ban on U.S. meat products.
"The United States is very disappointed that Russia has taken action to suspend all imports of U.S. meat, which is produced to the highest safety standards in the world," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a joint statement.
The United States calls on Russia to restore market access for U.S. meat products immediately and to abide by its obligations as a WTO member, said the statement.
Russia is prohibiting imports of all U.S. beef, pork, turkey and other meat products by requiring a zero tolerance for the presence of ractopamine.
Ractopamine is a safe additive for animal feed that is used in 27 countries, and has been shown to be completely safe at levels established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the United Nations Codex Alimentarius Commission, a preeminent food safety international standards organization, the statement argued.