January 29, 2009: 01:37 PM
ET WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Russia has suspended business with nine U.S. pork operations because of "clerical errors" in the paperwork that the U.S. businesses filed for shipments, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The U.S. facilities made errors in the export certificates they are required to fill out to do business with Russia, USDA spokeswoman Amanda Eamich said.
Under international guidelines, Eamich said, Russia should have contacted the USDA about concerns over errors it found in the export certificates "to quickly obtain a replacement certificate to correct inadvertent errors, but Russia does not recognize or accept replacement certificates."
Still, the USDA is working with Russia "to resolve the issue," Eamich said.
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service posted a list of facilities affected on its Web site Wednesday. The pork plants shown include Smithfield Foods Inc.'s (SFD) Tar Heel, N.C., and Milan, Mo., processing facilities. Two Cargill Meat Solutions plants in Ottumwa, Iowa, and Beardstown, Ill., are also on the list.
Most of the other facilities delisted by Russia are cold storage and distribution units.
Jerry Hostetter, spokesman with Smithfield Foods, in an email said, "There is no impact on our shipments to Russia, for we ship to there from many other plants."
Calls and emails to Cargill Meat Solutions have not been returned.
Futures traders so far have shrugged off the news, and most contracts are trading slightly higher. February hogs are up 37 points at 57.10 cents, while most-active April is down 15 point at 61.20 cents.
-By Bill Tomson, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-646-0088; firstname.lastname@example.org
(Curt Thacker contributed to this report.)
EXPOSING the FDA and the USDA - Broad Casting here the things that they would prefer us NOT to know about our FOOD & DRUGS & Farming.