China Says Ban on Hog Growth Enhancer Improves Food Safety

CHINA - China, the world's biggest pork consumer, said enforcing a "categorical" ban on pork produced with growth enhancers, including ractopamine, is part of its campaign to improve food safety.
calendar icon 25 September 2007
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"China does not approve" the use of any substances that fall in the category of veterinary drugs known as beta agonist, said Li Jinxiang, deputy veterinary director of the Ministry of Agriculture, at a press conference in Beijing today.

China recently blocked some pork shipments from the U.S. because traces of ractopamine were found, Xinhua News Agency said Sept. 15. The US, which approves ractopamine use, said it wants China to change its opposition to the growth hormone.

"This is not an issue of using a technical trade barrier," Li said. There are only about 20 countries that permit the use of ractopamine and China does not share the U.S. view that the substance is a safe product, he said.

China is trying to curb use of forbidden pesticides, animal drugs and feed additives as part of its four-month campaign to enhance product quality after problems from pesticide-tainted fish to lead-painted toys tarnished the "Made-in-China" image.


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