(2015) Pigs Using Muscle Drug Means U.S. Missing China Pork-Import Boom
Smithfield Foods, purchased by Hong Kong-based WH Group in 2013, has been working to remove ractopamine from all company-owned animals, it said in a May 22 statement. Smithfield is the world’s largest hog producer and pork processor.
Last year, several U.S. plants were disqualified as exporters to China after ractopamine-residue violations and labeling issues, according to the USDA. Read more…
VLA COMMENT: Ractopamine is banned in about 160 countries including CHINA. Unless the new owners Chinesof Smithfield ban the drug in their USA production, “natural thyroid” medicine will continue to be supplied by pigs given Ractopamine which affects the heart.
(2017) Canadian shipment of pig feet flagged in China for banned drug
A Canadian shipment of pig feet to China, produced by Olymel LP, has tested positive for residues of banned growth drug ractopamine and may curb future trade, Canadian government and industry officials say.
China views the tainted shipment as a “systemic failure” of Canada’s program that certifies pork sent to China is free of ractopamine, and the situation “could affect future pork exports,” according to an email to the industry from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
VLA COMMENT: Looks like China is halting imports to China of hogs feed with Ractopamine. Wondering, however, is the China owned American company still uses ractopamine in domestic hogs that remain in the American market?
What’s holding us back with exports?
“We saw this China thing coming, but I thought we would get ractopamine out of the system faster than we did.” This feed additive that promotes lean muscle growth has been popular in the U.S. until recently, but is banned in China.
Hayes estimates that half of the U.S. swine industry still feeds ractopamine, especially in the summer when the hog market is traditionally higher, but that number has shrunk in the past year as more packers go “racto-free” in their plants. This is a drastic change from just two years ago when the only U.S. pork company trying to eliminate ractopamine was Smithfield, and that was only on one farm in Illinois, says Hayes.
The ability to export to China if your plant is racto-free means the feed additive is on the wane. Triumph Foods recently went made the switch to eliminate it from its farms and plants.