A toxic growth enhancer
Ractopamine hydrochloride which is also commonly known as Paylean, is a food additive that shifts energy use from fat growth to increasing muscle fibre diameter and the growth of lean muscle protein. It increases carcass leanness, dressing percent, feed efficiency and the rate of weight gain adding about $5 per hog (and much more for beef) to the producers profits.
Beta-agonist drugs have been used in US cattle production since 2003. Ractopamine is administered in the days leading up to slaughter, and as much as 20 percent of it can remain in the meat you buy from your supermarket. However due to its suspected health effects, ractopamine is banned from food production in at least 160 countries around the world.
According to the NZ office of commerce and Industry, ractopamine is prohibited for use in New Zealand cattle. (However it is used in pork production). It claims that the potential for any illegal use is actively monitored for (along with the other beta agonists) and should it ever be found to occur it would result in enforcement action. No evidence of any illegal use has been found over the many years of monitoring.
How does a drug marked, "Not for use in humans. Individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid exposure. Use protective clothing, impervious gloves, protective eye wear, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask"become "safe" in human food? With no washout period? ~ Scoop
However the Watch China Times reported that Ractopamine was found in a shipment of New Zealand beef to Taiwan in 2012, therefore the NZ authorities must be lax.
Ractopamine was approved in the U.S. in 2000 and Canada in 2006 and is now approved in 26 countries including Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand. It is not approved for use or imports in the EU, China and Russia.
Despite the toxic effects of this food additive, the FDA in America is approved this drugs use in pork and even poultry. The FDA's approval of a drug for food that requires impervious gloves and a mask just to handle is reminiscent of the bovine growth hormone debacle and shows how in reality the FDA puts profits before public health.
Due to the laxity of the FDA and a lack of adequate monitoring by the authorities and other countries, this means that if you eat pork or beef you may be also consuming ractopermine.
According to Mercola, more than 1,700 people have reportedly been "poisoned" from eating meat containing traces of ractopermine. Research in animals has linked ractopamine to:
- Reductions in reproductive function, birth defects, increased mastitis in dairy herds, disability and death, hunger, anorexia, bloat, respiratory illnesses, hoof problems, lameness, stiffness, stress, aggression, and most commonly - death. In fact, of all reported side effects, death topped the list as the most reported problem associated with ractopamine.
- In humans; ractopamine is also known to affect the human cardiovascular system, and is thought to be responsible for hyperactivity, chromosomal abnormalities, behavioural changes, food poisoning, elevated heart rates and heart-pounding sensations.
So; all the more reasons to become a vegetarian!