If you have been keeping up with the latest industry news, you have probably already heard that pork exported outside of the United States, such as to countries like China, can no longer contain ractopamine.
If this is news to you, you might be wondering if the meat you’re currently selling or manufacturing is in jeopardy of being denied exportation.
With more than 160 countries currently banning the feed ingredient, we have listed out everything that you need to know about ractopamine, testing, and why it is important. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Ractopamine and Why is it Being Banned?
While the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has approved of ractopamine and has considered it safe for use, other countries will not stand for the import of pork that has been given this feed additive. This diminishes how many markets producers can export their products outside of the United States.
Ractopamine assists in increasing the amount of lean meat in pigs, turkey, and cattle by putting the additive in the feed the animals consume. But, as the ban will likely affect many large-scale meat producers and leaders in the industry, many manufacturers are looking for ways to ensure their product meets the quality standard for the larger export audience.
Farmers view the feed additive as an advantage, as it helps produce larger animals for less money. The drug is a cheaper alternative in helping animals meet a certain weight leading up to the final stages of production.
According to the Organic Consumers Association, “If you buy industrially produced pork at a U.S. supermarket, it likely contains ractopamine—about 60 – 80 percent of industrial pork producers use the drug.”
What Can I Do to Ensure My Meat Meets Standards
If you are unsure if the farmers you are working with use ractopamine in their feed, there is a way to get the answers you are looking for. You will need to have your samples tested for the feed additive at a laboratory.
Ractopamine testing can be done at some food safety labs, which will help get you the results needed to determine if the additive was used during the meat production cycle. This testing will ensure your product meets the standards.
In addition to ractopamine testing, understanding ideal livestock nutrition might help give you peace of mind for quality assurance. Livestock feed testing will give you an overview of what nutrition the animals are getting through feed ingredients, and can help in determining if that is sufficient for each stage of production.
Barrow-Agee Laboratories Does Ractopamine Testing
Barrow-Agee Laboratories aims to provide our customers with personalized service and an on-time, every-time delivery schedule that you cannot get anywhere else. We put an emphasis on understanding that your product needs to be of quality — which is why we treat it with such care. We never stop asking why and will get you the answers you are seeking.
Our animal feed testing lab and services provide you with results in under a week so your business can continue to operate smoothly and so that you can get your product into customers’ hands. While the state of the industry is changing, it doesn’t mean that you need to completely halt your production. Allow us to take this burden off of your shoulders.
Our lab holds numerous certifications that support our work for the livestock feed industry, including participation in the USDA Accredited Laboratory Program (Pesticides) proficiency testing, the Florida Department of Agriculture Certified Feed Lab for Nutrients, and mycotoxins and micro-organisms.
If you have questions about our animal feed testing lab or services, or what the ractopamine feed additive is, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help.