U.N. Body Approves Standard For Feed Additive

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 5, 2012 – The National Pork Producers Council praised a U.N. commission for finally approving an international standard for a safe and approved feed ingredient.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission, which was established by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization and its World Health Organization to promote food safety and fair practices in trade, yesterday adopted a science-based standard for ractopamine, a feed ingredient used to promote leanness in pork and beef. It was the fifth time the U.N. body considered setting a maximum residue limit for ractopamine.

“NPPC is pleased that the Codex commission finally approved this scientifically proven safe product,” said NPPC President R.C. Hunt, a producer from Wilson, N.C. “The commission, as it should, fulfilled its mandate to base standards and guidelines on science.”

Like all feed ingredients, ractopamine was evaluated and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has been approved for use in 26 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea. A Codex panel of international scientists, including scientists from the European Union, three times has confirmed the safety of ractopamine, most recently in 2010 based on data from China.

Despite those findings and the support of the United States, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and countries in every part of the world outside of Europe, the standard again was opposed for non-scientific reasons outside the scope of the Codex by the European Union and Russia. The EU, China, Taiwan and Thailand currently ban imports of pork from pigs fed ractopamine.

“U.S. pork producers are very disappointed with the continued opposition to ractopamine for reasons other than scientific ones from several countries, particularly Russia,” Hunt said. “That country is set to join the World Trade Organization this year, and the WTO requires member countries to abide by international trade standards. Given Russia’s intransigence on ractopamine, we’re concerned about its commitment to WTO principles.”