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December 16, 2013 11:16

Russian watchdog finds banned steroid in Australian beef

MOSCOW. Dec 16 (Interfax) - The Federal Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Oversight Service has found Trenbolone, a steroid used to increase muscle growth that is banned in Russia, in shipments of beef from Australia, the head of the Russian watchdog, Sergei Dankvert told Interfax.

This is the second growth stimulant after ractopamine to be found in meat imported into Russia. The ractopamine scandal that erupted over a year ago resulted in Russia restricting meat imports from a number of countries.

"This new finding could have the most serious consequences for Australia. It gives reason to doubt the safety guarantees provided by this country's veterinary service," Dankvert said.

The veterinary certificates that accompany meat shipments have a special point indicating that growth hormones and stimulators are not supposed to be used in production.

Restrictions on imports of meat and meat products from Australia's Kilcoy Pastoral Company will be imposed effective December 16 due to the discovery of Trenbolone in beef liver, Dankvert said. Another four Australian companies - John Dee Warwich, JBC Australia, Teys Australia Southern and Northern Cooperative Meat - have been found to be using this steroid and imports of their products have been put under increased monitoring.

Dankvert said his agency is expanding the range of testing of imported products for substances that are banned in Russia. "But even that which has been found is sufficient to impose more serious restrictive measures," he said.

"The situation could develop fairly quickly if we will find new cases of Trenbolone use. Whole companies whose enterprises have already received a black mark could lose the right to ship beef to Russia," Dankvert said.

He said the Russian watchdog is waiting for additional information from Australia's veterinary service that would confirm the justifiability of safety guarantees it issued for meat shipped to Russia, particularly beef.

Trenbolone is a powerful anabolic steroid used to promote muscle growth and appetite. The drug has many side effects.

Australia is one of the biggest suppliers of beef to Russia. The list of beef exporters includes 47 suppliers, shipments from eight of which have been banned for various reasons.

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