(Bloomberg) -- China has blocked beef exports from a major JBS SA beef plant in the US after a controversial feed additive was found in meat shipments to the world’s largest buyer. 

JBS is “working diligently with US and Chinese authorities to resolve the situation as soon as possible,” the Brazilian meat giant said in a statement. The plant suspended by China is based in Greeley, Colorado, and no other JBS beef facilities in the US have been impacted.

The additive in question is known as ractopamine, which is used by livestock producers to boost muscle growth and improve feed efficiency in pigs and beef cattle. While meat from ractopamine-fed animals is considered safe for human consumption by US authorities, the substance is banned in several countries. 

The move from China is a blow to JBS beef operations in the US at a time when scarce cattle supplies have sent costs surging and eroded beef producers’ profits.

--With assistance from Michael Hirtzer.

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