A new report out from the office of the U.S. Trade Representative questions whether or not Russia is fulfilling its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization.
When it joined the WTO, Russia made several agreements, among them a pledge that any measures in place to protect human, animal, and plant health would be backed by science and in line with international standards.
But since February, Russia has maintained a zero-tolerance level for the leanness additive ractopamine, and in the process, effectively banned all U.S. beef and pork.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation reports that in 2012, beef and pork exports to Russia were valued at about $600 million dollars.
Russia's acceptable levels on ractopamine are more stringent than United Nations food standards, and so far Russia hasn't provided a risk assessment explaining its strictness. The USTR report is light on details, noting only that the issue has been brought up both bilaterally and in the WTO.