The Russians are helping build political will for passage of PAMTA! How has this happened and should we allow foreign influence in our domestic policy to preserve antibiotics for medical treatment? In this case the answer should be a resounding yes since industrial agriculture in the U.S. appears more responsive to the needs and desires of the export market than to the health and safety of the American people. Tom Johnston recently reported on Meatingplace.com that Russia removed three U.S. pork-processing plants from “its list of eligible exporters for findings of oxytetracycline and salmonella exceeding that country’s standards,” as reported by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service on November 30, 2009. Since December 7 Seaboard Foods’ Guymon, OK slaughterhouse, Farmland Foods’ Denison, IA and Crete, NE pork processing plants can no longer export pork products to Russia. Less than a week later (12/10/09) Reuters reported Russia had widened its ban on U.S. pork imports to 13 U.S. pork plants, including seven Smithfield-owned pork processing facilities. The number of U.S. pork plants still approved for export to Russia, the fifth largest market for U.S. pork, is now down to six from a high of about 40 earlier this year.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s office in Washington expressed concern that “current Russian standards are not based on international standards and do not have a scientific justification.” This sounds like Pork Council language to those of us who have witnessed the distortion and manipulation of scientific data by the industry. Read More >