The Codex Alimentarius Commission, the joint food standards program of the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, has adopted global food safety standards for ractopamine. Ractopamine is a feed additive that directs nutrients from fat to lean protein, helping to increase the yield of lean meat from cattle and swine.
Commercially, Elanco Animal Health markets ractopamine through two products – Paylean for swine and Optaflexx for cattle.
The finding of ractopamine residue in U.S. meat has created challenges for exports. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes ractopamine as a safe feed additive, a lack of standards for Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) had caused some confusion on the global level.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Chief Veterinarian Kathy Simmons says that the adoption of the MRLs is a victory for U.S. cattlemen and women. She goes on to say that “It is paramount that science is the foundation for all decisions made in the international community. Today, the Codex Commission proved they are willing to trust science and make decisions based on facts rather than politics.”
© Northern Ag Network 2012