USMEF Weekly Audio: Egypt’s Regulatory Changes a Positive Move for U.S. Beef Variety Meat Exports
Egypt is the largest destination for U.S. beef liver exports and one of the largest for other beef variety meat items. Travis Arp, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior director of export services and access, explains that new regulatory changes in Egypt are an important development for the U.S. beef industry, and especially for exporters who specialize in these products.
The Egyptian National Food Safety Authority has established maximum residue limits (MRLs) for ractopamine and synthetic hormones. The previous standards for these veterinary drugs required adherence to a zero tolerance for residues and caused commercial disruptions for U.S. exporters over the past several years. USMEF has worked collaboratively with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) on this issue for many years, as well as with private industry and academia to address these non-science-based barriers to trade.
Egypt established an MRL of 20 parts per billion (ppb) for residues of ractopamine in beef liver. While this is stricter than the Codex Alimentarius MRL (40 ppb) that is recognized as the international standard, Arp expects the new standard will be sufficient to avoid rejections of U.S. beef liver shipments entering Egypt. Other MRLs for ractopamine are 10 ppb for beef muscle cuts and 20 ppb for kidneys. Egypt’s MRLs for synthetic hormones are Codex-consistent.
The U.S. is Egypt’s largest supplier of beef livers, holding more than 70% market share. In 2019, U.S. liver exports to Egypt topped 57,000 metric tons (mt) and accounted for 66% of total U.S. export volume. U.S. liver exports to Egypt peaked in 2014 at 69,000 mt, which at that time accounted for more than 80% of total U.S. export volume. The U.S. industry has diversified its liver export destinations in recent years, working to expand demand in markets such as South Africa, Angola, Gabon, Peru, Colombia and Mexico.
Submitted to the BARN by:
Vice President, Communications
U.S. Meat Export Federation