Another reason to buy meat from a trusted local source, or not at all.

What is ractopamine?

Ractopamine is a beta-agonist, a class of agents acting in an opposite way to beta-blockers widely used in blood pressure medication.

Ractopamine is not considered safe for humans and is not an approved drug for humans. It is approved by the FDA for use in animals.

Why is ractopamine fed to pigs?

Ractopamine is a drug administered to pigs, usually as a feed additive, to increase the amount of lean meat or fat (depending on dosage). It’s typically fed to pigs in the weeks just before slaughter.

Ractopamine side effects for animals

Pigs fed with ractopamine suffer from extreme fatigue, trembling, mobility difficulties, hoof problems and death.

Countries that have banned ractopamine

E.U., China, Russia, Malaysia and Taiwan are among over 100 countries that have banned the use of ractopamine in meat animals.

Some people consider this a form of protectionism against much cheaper meat from US and Canada but the official explanation is the uncertainty about the potential deleterious health effects from consuming meat from animals fed ractopamine.

Is ractopamine used on other meat animals?

Yes. It is approved by the FDA for use on turkeys and cows.

Want to learn more about buying healthy meat?

Check out our Ethical Foods Meat Buying Guide

Kitchen Counter Compost

Don't Miss This

L’Etoile A gem of fine dining located right on Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin, L’Etoile is not only a bastion of high-quality food and service; it is a neighborhood institution. Congresspeople mingle ...
Federal Crop Insurance In light of one of the worst droughts the US has experienced in the last 50 years, US taxpayers could end up paying an estimated $16 billion in crop insurance costs. Federal Crop Insurance, what is i...
Zero Waste: Let’s Count The Ways From spent cooking oil to toxic cleaning supplies, restaurant pollution is a serious problem that takes many forms.  Whether through individual integrity or city mandate, many restaurants are findin...
How Green is Your Favorite Restaurant? Sometimes sustainability is equated with upscale restaurants that specifically market their local and sustainable credentials. But what about your favorite pizza joint, or the place where you pick up ...

Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Affiliate links may appear on this page. We may receive a commission on purchases made through affiliate links. Learn more on our Terms Of Use page