Russia has temporarily banned imports of all beef and pork products from the United States because of concerns over a steroid-based feed additive.
Ractopamine is used to speed livestock growth and produce leaner cuts of meat, United Press International reports. It's been banned in 160 countries, but the U.S. continues to use the additive. Russia's ban is a big economic hit for the U.S. meat industry, which claims that the additive is safe in small amounts.
In the first 11 months of 2012, the U.S. had exported $280 million in pork products and $305 million worth of beef products to Russia, UPI says.
The United States is "deeply concerned" with Russia's announcement, said Andrea Mead, a spokeswoman for U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, in the UPI report.
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