Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The controversial drug in your dinner


There is a controversial drug lurking in your dinner – and we need your help to stop it.

Ractopamine is a feed additive banned or restricted in dozens of countries – including China, Russia, and all of the European Union – but not in the United States, where it is fed to cattle, pigs, and turkeys to boost growth rates. An estimated 60 - 80% of pork sold in U.S. supermarkets comes from pigs treated with the drug.

What’s wrong with ractopamine? Ractopamine is connected to “downed” animals, muscular tremors, and increased aggressiveness in animals. It was even found to increase incidence of cattle deaths in a 2014 peer-reviewed article.1 Yet its effects on human and environmental health have not been well studied by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the agency responsible for ensuring the safety of animal drugs.

In response to these risks, Center for Food Safety sued FDA to challenge the agency’s approval of eighteen ractopamine-based animal drugs.

We want to hear your concerns about the use of these animal drugs and their effect on the environment, animals, and human health.

Specifically, we are looking for members who meet one or more of the following criteria:

(1) You live or work near a factory farm, or in an area that may have possible exposure to ractopamine.
(2) You regularly visit and observe areas of the natural environment that may be harmed by nearby factory farms that use ractopamine and other animal drugs.
(3) You are concerned by the environmental, public health, or animal welfare risks posed by feeding ractopamine to animals.

If you meet any of these criteria, please share your story with us. Please email alerts@centerforfoodsafety.org or call 415-826-2770 as soon as possible to help in this important lawsuit!

In your response, please tell us: (1) the city and state of your residence; (2) if you live near a factory farm or near an area you know or suspect may be affected by ractopamine use; (3) how you fit into the criteria and your specific concerns regarding the use of ractopamine-based animal drugs.

Thank you,
Center for Food Safety

1. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0091177

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