NPPC President Elect Defends Codex On Ractopamine Use
Jan 8, 2013
The FDA is being asked to review Codex standards for ractopamine residues and study the effect on human health and animal welfare. The Center for Food Safety and the Animal Legal Defense fund have filed a citizen petition w ith the request.
NPPC President Elect Randy Spronk says his group stands by Codex’s World Health standards that show ractopamine is safe for human and animal consumption.
Center for Food Safety and Animal Legal Defense Fund claim that Codex rules are based on unreliable and weak data.
Spronk says NPPC will defend both Codex and ractopamine use before FDA and federal lawmakers.
The petition follows a trade dispute last month where Russia announced new rules requiring that U.S. pork and beef exports be certified ractopamine-free.
Ractopamine ban to drive up Russian meat prices
By Vladislav Vorotnikov - GlobalMeatNews
Introducing a pre-export inspection for ractopamine on meat imported to Russia could hit the Russian market badly. Experts estimate that if the issue is not resolved quickly, Russia may lose 42% of all meat imports, creating a sharp rise in prices.
Igor Bukharov, president of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers, said: “This ban has hit our market quite strongly. I believe meat prices will rise by 30% – possibly even more. After all, America has been our main supplier of beef. Currently, Europe is not supplying [Russia] with meat – imports are prohibited because of BSE and other diseases. The volume of meat we produce ourselves is not enough [to meet the needs of the country].”
According to experts, the danger to shops, restaurants and cafés lies in the loss of existing contracts.
“Usually with such changes, the authorities warn us three months before they are actually implemented, so buyers have time to renegotiate contracts. The opening gap could be filled by meat from Australia, but that would certainly take some time,” Bukharov added.
Wholesalers are also facing considerable financial risk, according to market insiders, with imported products facing the possibility being destroyed if they fail to pass inspection. Also, all imported meat in 2013 will automatically become 3-4% more expensive, to cover the cost of inspection...
Public Interest Groups Join International Chorus: No Ractopamine In US Meat
By Carla Gillespie - Food Poisoning Bulletin
January 6, 2013
Two public interest groups are the latest to add their voices to an international chorus of concern about the feed additive ractopamine. The Center for Food Safety and the Animal Legal Defense Fund have filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling for the agency to reduce allowable levels of the drug and to conduct a comprehensive study of its effects on human and animal health. The petition comes on the heels of Russia’s December announcement that will add its name to the list of roughly 160 countries that ban or restrict ractopamine, including China, Taiwan and every member nation in the European Union.
Manufactured by Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly, ractopamine goes by different names for different animals applications: Paylean for pigs, Optaflexx for cattle and Tomax for turkeys. It’s used as an additive in finisher feeds- what food animals are fed during their last days, to accelerate weight gain and promote leanness in meat. In 2000, it was approved for use in animal feed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which relied heavily on studies conducted by Elanco, according to the Center for Food Safety.
Fed to an estimated 60 to 80 percent of pigs raised for meat in the US, ractopamine works by simulating a stress hormone, which, obviously, increases stress levels in the pig, increases heart rate and negatively impacts metabolic functions and a host of other problems. (Studies here, and here .) And though it’s supposed to wear off quickly, a recent Consumer Reports study found traces of the drug in one out of every five pork products tested.
“More pigs have been adversely affected by ractopamine than by any other animal drug—over 160,000, by the FDA’s own calculations,” says Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “The effects of ractopamine are cruel and completely avoidable. At a time when consumers are increasingly demanding more humane treatment of animals slaughtered for the meat industry, the United States should be at the vanguard of strong animal protections, rather than behind the international curve.”
And the stress doesn’t end when the pig’s life does, as Donald Broom, a professor at the University of Cambridge’s department of veterinary medicine, explained at a forum to discuss why the EU has banned the drug last year in Taipei. According to Broom, research shows that humans who eat meat from animals treated with the drug have increased anxiety...