Saturday, June 08, 2013

Ractopamine and the proposed Chinese purchase of Smithfield Foods

Helena Bottemiller reported at the end of May for NBC News that the proposed purchase of Smithfield Foods by a Chinese company may be related to the fact that China has stricter standards than the United States does for a growth promoting drug:
The proposed $4.7 billion sale of Smithfield Foods, America’s largest pork producer, to China’s biggest meat processing company comes amid significant trade friction between the two countries over meat and livestock.

China bans ractopamine, a controversial growth-promoting drug that is widely used by U.S. livestock producers. Russia also bans the feed additive and both countries have recently stepped up residue testing in meat, worried about the health effects of the drug. The actions have constrained American meat exports.
Bottemiller's feature was supported by the Food & Environment Reporting Network.

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