The Government is struggling to get a meeting with Russian officials to get to the bottom of what has prompted a temporary ban on New Zealand beef exports into the country.
A media release out of Russia last week indicated it would be imposing restrictions on New Zealand meat from this week, suggesting it had found the feed additive ractopamine in some samples.
The Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, today said he was concerned about the ban and is disappointed the Government didn't get an early warning.
"We don't use ractopamine at all in our red meat so there's no chance of it being in our products here," Mr Guy said.
He said the Government has found it difficult to get a meeting on the issue since last week's announcement.
"We'll work through this situation now with our technical people in Moscow we've been trying to get a meeting with our technical vets up there to work through with some of their officials' concerns that they've had. In the past we haven't been able to get good access so we'll try again now."
On whether Russia's motives are political, Mr Guy said he had no intel on that.
"What I can say is that we're working through with our regulator and their regulator to try and get a meeting to resolve these issues."
Beef exports to Russia are worth about $24 million to New Zealand annually.