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HPPR Economy and Enterprise

Pork Producers to Label Pigs Fed Muscle Drug

Will Kincaid

Soon High Plains shoppers will see a new phrase when shopping for pork, reports Prairie Public News. The phrase, which may be confusing to most, is: "Produced without the use of ractopamine."  While ractopamine may not have much name recognition, it’s a huge deal in the pork industry.  Most pigs in America are given the drug, which is similar to adrenaline. The pigs put on more muscle, and the drug can add two to three dollars of income per pig.

The FDA says the drug is safe, and approved its use in 1999. But organic farmers disagree. The EU, China, Russia, and other countries haven’t approved ractopamine’s use. Organic farmers note that if consumers choose to purchase ractopamine-free pork, then the market will meet their demands.

*Correction: In last week's post, it was stated incorrectly the drug was injected.  This piece has been corrected.