“On December 7, 2012 Russia’s Federal Agency for Agricultural Control, Rosselhohznadzor, banned the imports of meat containing ractopamine. This is a food additive that allows to reduce the content of fat in beef and pork. The drug is added to food so that animals grow the muscle mass instead of fat.
According to researchers, ractopamine affects the human cardiovascular system, and in some cases can cause food poisoning. This drug is banned for use in 160 countries, including China and Russia. It is allowed in 24 countries, including Canada and the United States. Codex Alimentarius of the World Health Organization, adopted in July 2012 in Rome by representatives of 186 countries, allows the contents of ractopamine in meat.
Formally, Russia does not prohibit the delivery of pork and beef from the United States. It only notified a number of countries, including the US of A, of the need to provide documents saying that animals had not been fed ractopamine – the drug that is banned in Russia. However, the warned countries (in addition to the U.S. the list includes Canada, Brazil and Mexico and excludes 20 countries where the drug is used) do not have the appropriate expertise, because there was no need to have it before. Rosselkhoznadzor promised to introduce a transitional period for those countries, until about the end of January 2013. However, specific implementation mechanisms remain unclear.
As for foreign countries, the move of the Russian Agency for Agricultural Control will hit the United States most. Russia is the fourth largest importer of U.S. meat and spends about $500 million a year on it. The Russian market consumes 0.6 percent of all beef and 1.4 percent of pork produced in the United States. More than 200 containers of meat products worth about $20 million are currently on their way to Russia from the United States….”
But Russia is not the only country finding that American food is no longer good enough for their people:
“Move over, [New York] Mayor Bloomberg. Your big-size soda ban was a great start, but, in the Great Soda Wars, you’ve been upstaged by Bolivia.
The central South American country has announced that it will ban the Coca-Cola company by the end of the year. Specifically, Bolivia’s Minister of External Affairs, David Choquehuanca, has said that Coca-Cola will be expelled on December 21 as that date is the same on which the Mayan calendar enters a new cycle. The reason: To celebrate the “end of capitalism.”
Forbes quotes Choquehuanca speaking at a political rally for Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales:
“The twenty-first of December 2012 is the end of selfishness, of division. The twenty-first of December has to be the end of Coca-Cola and the beginning of mocochinche (a local peach-flavored soft drink). “The planets will line up after 26,000 years. It is the end of capitalism and the beginning of communitarianism.”
The Bolivian government has been planning to celebrate this date in other ways, including various events that will take place at the Southern Hemisphere’s Summer Solstice on La Isla del Sol, one of the largest islands in Lake Titicaca.
It’s not the first time a large American corporation has found itself out of favor with the country of about 11 million. McDonalds was unable to make a profit there and pulled out in the early 2000s.
The consumption of Coca-Cola products has tripled in Bolivia since 2001 and has increased notably in all Latin American countries. As WorldCrunch says, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez has called on his citizens to drink Uvita, a grape juice produced by a state-run company, instead of Coke. According to the Bolivian website Opinion, both Cuba and North Korea ban Coke.
Forbes points out something “curious” about Bolivia’s plan to ban Coke. The Coca-Cola corporation isn’t talking, but coca leaf extract is said to be an ingredient in the secret recipe for Coke:
…sales of coca leaf are big business in Bolivia, accounting for 2% of the country’s GDP, or approximately $270 million annually, and representing 14% of all agricultural sales. Besides, coca is legally sold in wholesale markets in some Bolivian cities. There’s even a cocaine bar in La Paz.
The decision of Coca-Cola’s ban in Bolivia came in a time when the country is pledging to legalize the consumption of coca leaves, which are notoriously processed clandestinely into cocaine, and were declared an illegal narcotic by the UN in 1961, along with cocaine, opium and morphine, in spite of its consumption being a centuries-old tradition there, strongly rooted in the beliefs of various indigenous groups…..”