China has sent the U.S. notices regarding pork shipments that may have contained ractopamine, a swine growth promoter used in the U.S. but banned in China, a U.S. Agriculture Department official said on Wednesday.
"We did receive some notices from them last night or this morning and so we're kind of going through that information," said Laura Reiser, a spokeswoman with USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service.
Reiser said China sends USDA a notice when it finds a banned substance in a meat shipment, letting the U.S. know what action it plans to take. In the past it has either delisted the plant that produced the meat -- which means it will not buy from that plant -- or issued a warning.
There were rumors in the U.S. livestock markets Wednesday that China has delisted some U.S. pork plants.
USDA would not comment on the rumors, but said it is in the process of reviewing the notices to confirm what action the Chinese have taken and how many plants were involved.
"The notices are related to shipments so there might be multiple notices from one plant," said Reiser. "I do think...the ones from last night were related to ractopamine."
Ractopamine is marketed in the United States as Paylean.