China bans U.S. beef from a JBS plant

China bans U.S. beef from a JBS plant
Jun 05, 2024

The beef contained ractopamine, FSIS says

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

China has placed beef import restrictions on one U.S. processing plant.

A May 24 update on the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) website indicates the Swift Beef Company, a JBS-owned plant in Greeley, Colo., is not eligible for export to China until further notice.

China implemented the temporary ban due to a prohibited substance found in an export shipment.

"China customs detected ractopamine in a batch of frozen beef omasum (the third compartment of the stomach) products exported to China from these establishments and destroyed this batch of products in accordance with their regulations," an FSIS spokesperson said, Reuters reported.

Ractopamine, a feed additive, can be fed to livestock and poultry to improve weight gain and feed efficiency and reduce carcass fat.

About 160 countries ban the use of ractopamine on grounds that it can be harmful to humans.

The U.S. and Canada are among the countries that allow the use of ractopamine. And the FDA has determined that meat from animals fed ractopamine is safe for human consumption.

China also placed a ban on a port in California on May 27.

The Cool Port in Oakland is also implicated in the temporary ban.

This temperature-controlled distribution center can help support 1 million tons of beef and pork shipments annually.

It’s unclear why China placed the restrictions on the port.