U.S. Pig Farmers Use Drug Banned in China as Unsafe
Friday, January 27, 2012
A feed additive given to pigs is considered so bad that officials in China—producer of harmful toys, building materials and other suspects exports—has banned it. But ractopamine hydrochloride, a drug used to keep pigs lean and boost their growth, is still in use in the United States. In fact, it is fed to between 60% and 80% of pigs in the country. The drug also “has sickened or killed more of them than any other livestock drug on the market,” according to the Food and Environment Reporting Network. Ractopamine has also been banned by the European Union.
Produced by Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly, ractopamine (sold under the brand name Paylean) is said to produce 10% more meat if fed to pigs in the final month of their lives, thus increasing profits $2 a head.
Ractopamine is also sometimes given to cattle and turkeys.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Dispute Over Drug in Feed Limiting US Meat Exports (by Helena Bottemiller, Food and Environment Reporting Network)
China Bans Production and Sale of Ractopamine (Pork Network via China.org.cn)
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