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Livestock drug "Ractopamine" banned in China and the EU is fed to a majority of pigs in U.S.

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posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:13 PM
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Interesting article posted by MSNBC regarding international trade regulations relating to U.S. agricultural practices inpsired me to dig a bit. I find it curious that only six humans were used in toxicity studies... as well as the fact that we allow animals so diseased that they can't move onto our dinner plates. It seems a bit absurd that they are willing to add this drug to the feed at all when any financial gain generated is surely offset by the fact that a good portion of the world refuses to eat it.

Livestock drug banned in China and the EU is fed to a majority of pigs in US.

A drug produced by international agriculture giant Elanco known as​ ractopamine is banned in all of the European countries, Turkey, Russia, China, Japan, India, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and the INGO consumer organizations Consumers International and NHF. Yet it's fed to about 60 to 80 percent of pigs in the US - the FDA having ruled that ractopamine was safe for use in pigs in 1999, for cattle in 2003 and turkeys in 2008. Twenty four nations, inluding South Korea, Brazil, and all of North America have approved the product.

The drug was introduced into the market in the manner of Elanco’s other two blockbusters, Stilbosol (diethylstilbestrol or DES), now withdrawn, and Posilac or bovine growth hormone (rBST) (bought from Monsanto in 2008) became part of the nation’s food supply: amidst intensive lobbying - the result being heavy support for the elimination of trade barriers for Ractopamine treated products despite global oppositions.


United States during Codex Committee on Food Additives: "Earlier this week we heard clearly from JECFA that the issue to adopt the MRLs is no longer a food safety issue. After years of study, JECFA and CCCF have said that there is no food safety issue. Countries should not be allowed to stop adoption of standards on the basis of their own political agendas. However, we did hear a scientific problem with lung MRL [from China on Monday, noting that lung is consumed in China and is very high in Ractopamine™-treated animal] so work should go forward on this standard [to adopt the MRLs]. For the US the answer is clear: we support adoption of all Ractopamine™ MRLs without any footnotes.”


So why aren't other nations as enthusiastic?


Taipei Times: "According to Lin Chieh-liang (林杰樑), a toxicologist at Linkuo Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan and China apply stricter standards than the West because this additive (and another beta agonist, salbutamol) tends to concentrate in the offal portions of the animal. This is not a concern in the West because offal is rarely consumed there, but offal (kidneys, lungs, etc) is a major source of food in the area (as well as many regions where the ban is in effect).

Feng Jun-lan, an official responsible for food safety, said 450kg of kidneys, imported by a Taichung City-based food company, were tested on and found to contain 0.49 parts per billion (ppb) of the drug."



China Post: "Yeh Ying, deputy director of the COA’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ), said the bureau decided to ban all drugs used by farmers as food additives to boost growth of lean meat in pigs, including ractopamine, only after cases were reported abroad concerning bad effects on consumers’ heart and neural systems after eating ractopamine-containing meat products."


As with many drugs, the approval process relied on safety studies conducted by the drug-maker -- studies that lie at the heart of the current trade dispute. The company received a warning letter from the FDA in 2002 for failing to disclose all data about the safety and effectiveness of the drug, and in the same year Elanco was asked to add a warning label to the drug in 2002 due to complaints by USDA meat inspectors regarding adverse health effects. The warning label on the feed additive now states that "Individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution (gloves, coats, respirators) to avoid exposure."

Elanco mainly tested animals -- mice, rats, monkeys and dogs -- to judge how much ractopamine could be safely consumed. Adverse reproductive effects were noticed in monkeys, decreased testicular weight was seen in male rats at all doses tested, and deterioration of the function of the heart muscle in mice. Only one human study was used in the safety assessment by Elanco, and among the six healthy young men who participated, one was removed because his heart began racing and pounding abnormally, according to a detailed evaluation of the study by European Union food safety officials. A dose has yet to be established which causes no effect in man, and there have been many documented cases of severe food poisoning throughout the world thought to be a direct consequence of consuming meat products contaminated with Ractopamine residues.

Ractopamine is added to cattle feed less than a month before slaughter to improve marbling by increasing protein synthesis in the animals' last days. The drug mimics stress hormones to alter an animals metabolism so that less fat and more muscle is produced, but can make the animals sick. Under certain conditions the drug increases breakdown of lipids, which is associated with increased cholesterol levels even as fat formation is inhibited. Ractopamine leaves animals' bodies quickly, with pig studies showing about 85 percent excreted within a day - and data of this sort is used to support the pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 0 days established by the FDA . However low levels of metabolic residues can still be detected in pigs urine up to three weeks after they've consumed the drug.

Furthermore, according to the FDA ractopamine has sickened or killed more livestock than any other drug - hundreds of thousands of such incidents have been acknowledged since its introduction. Cattle and turkeys have also suffered high numbers of illnesses from the drug - and in pigs it is capable of provoking major psychological changes including aggression and increased agitation, creating difficulties for handlers.
edit on 29-1-2012 by illusionincarnate because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:14 PM
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Due to the nature and growth promoting properties of this group of drugs they are often used illicitly - by livestock producers in particular. It is acknowledged that adulteration of meat by various other b-Adrenergic Agonists represents a genuine risk to consumers, but based on our current knowledge the rapid metabolization of Ractopamine is understood to minimize this hazard.

Another interesting fact is that the muscle gained is NOT a long term effect of the drug - after more than a month of application the apparent benefits begin to disappear.


According to Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, the “indiscriminant use of Paylean® (ractopamine) has contributed to an increase in downer non-ambulatory pigs,” and pigs that “are extremely difficult to move and drive.” The Humane Society of the United States released an undercover video in 2008 showing workers at a slaugh­terhouse in California dragging, kicking, forklifting, and electro­shocking sick and disabled cows in an effort to force them to walk so as to pass inspection. The video led the Federal Government to institute the largest beef recall in US history in order to prevent consumption of meat from diseased animals as well as a ban on allowing downer cattle to be slaughtered for consumption by humans - but the Supreme Court struck down the law this week.


Supreme Court : livestock unable to stand (nonambulatory) that are not condemned are classified as “U. S. Suspect.” §309.2(b). They are set apart, specially monitored, and “slaughtered separately from other livestock.” §309.2(n). Following slaughter, an inspector decides at a “post-mortem” examination which parts, if any, of the suspect animal’s carcass may be processed into food for humans.


In the U.S., residue tests for ractopamine are limited. In 2010, for example, the U.S. did no tests on 22 billion pounds of pork; 712 samples were taken from 26 billion pounds of beef. Those results have not yet been released.

Enjoy your bacon. ; )

Addendum:

For inquiring minds here are the long term toxicity studies. Here is the report by the European Food Safety Authority.
Also, here's the supreme court ruling that took effect last week.
And just for good measure, here are some improvised human trials performed by amateur toxicologists.

edit on 29-1-2012 by illusionincarnate because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-1-2012 by illusionincarnate because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:47 PM
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There is already a thread on it here ... www.abovetopsecret.com...

i would like to add that particularly in the west U.S. there are shrubs and plants that contain ephedra. Ephedra is a beta andregenic activist, so it is similar to ractopamine. And we all know what a bad rap ephedrine got because of some idiotic people that chose to abuse it. Ephedrine is harmless when used properly, as is aspirin. Soo, your free range beef that comes from those areas of the western U.S. most undoubtedly contains ephedra and its other alkaloids.
just food for thought.

Also, when labs do their research on chemicals they administer a large amount, more so than anyone would normally ingest, and they do this to find the threshold max for side effects. More food for thought.
edit on 29-1-2012 by kimish because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:51 PM
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reply to post by kimish
 


So there is! I have included a large amount of supplmental data, though; Enjoy!



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 07:47 PM
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Originally posted by kimish
Ephedra is a beta andregenic activist, so it is similar to ractopamine.
Do you mean a beta adrenergic agonist?



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 09:18 PM
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Originally posted by Pimander

Originally posted by kimish
Ephedra is a beta andregenic activist, so it is similar to ractopamine.
Do you mean a beta adrenergic agonist?


Yes, thank you lol. Actually ephedra is an alpha and beta andrenergic agonist. Ephedra/ephedrine work in a similar way as clenbuterol. As a matter of fact they are interchangeable.

The point is,whether or not people are putting them into the animals feed, we are getting these chemicals in our meat and they are getting there through mother nature.

I would also like to add that '___', the most hallucinogenic substance known to man, is found in every blade of grass and everything else that grows. So, cow, pig, or whatever eats grass, leaves, flowers or what have you, they are all ingesting the most hallucinogenic substance to man. If researchers were to do the studies with '___' as they did with ractopamine, many people would have horrible side effects but we never hear of them now, do we? And as far as the people having bad side effects from eating the "tainted" meat, was the meat the only thing that they ingested that day? Because caffeine products and medications and even certain amino acids can give the side effects described as being ractopamine induced.

Don't get me wrong, I don't appreciate things being put into my food without my knowledge but hey, if I'm going to ingest something that helps keep me ripped and keeps my metabolism elevated so I don't become obese, I'm all for it.

edit on 29-1-2012 by kimish because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by kimish
I would also like to add that '___', the most hallucinogenic substance known to man, is found in every blade of grass and everything else that grows. So, cow, pig, or whatever eats grass, leaves, flowers or what have you, they are all ingesting the most hallucinogenic substance to man. If researchers were to do the studies with '___' as they did with ractopamine, many people would have horrible side effects but we never hear of them now, do we?
This is nonsense. Don't take this the wrong way, I'm just trying to pass on my knowledge.

'___' is metabolised into harmless substances in seconds after being ingested by an enzyme called monoamine oxidase. It will not get into the meat at all. That is why '___' does not work on humans if taken orally, it never gets past the stomach lining.

I haven't looked into studies of ractopamine but my guess is that the Chinese have done pharmacokinetic studies and concluded that it is not completely metabolised before slaughter and banned it. That is the difference. I know that most clenbuterol like drugs don't persist for too long but ractopamine probably does if they have banned it.

That is the beauty of having a government not controlled by private interest groups, they go against big corporations more.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 11:14 PM
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Exactly. If you read the article the Chinese in particular are concerned about the bioaccumulation of Ractopamine in the kidneys, lungs, and etc - as those products are part of the diet over there (and across the world).



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