What's the latest on Ractopamine? Why all the fuss and what's being done?
First, the latest news. New USDA Program.
Recently, the USDA introduced a certification program that would allow the meat industry to market their products with the claim "Never Fed Beta Agonists". Beta agonists are a class of drugs used as feed additives to promote lean muscle mass in livestock intended for consumption. Compounds within the Beta agonist family include Ractopamine, Clenbuterol and Salbutamol.
In the US, the FDA Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for ractopamine hydrochloride is established at 30 ppb in beef and 50 ppb in pork. The Codex Alimentarius Commission has an established MRL of 10 ppb for beef and pork muscle cuts. However, owing to concerns about its effect on human health, Russia and China have banned meat containing ractopamine and now require stringent confirmation that products are free of the banned drug.