Meat council calls for international animal welfare and feed additives standards

CANADA - The Canadian Meat Council says China's ban on pork from certain meat packing plants in Canada and the US demonstrates the need for common international standards for the approval of animal health products and feed additives, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 19 September 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Last week China banned the import of pork from specific processing plants in Canada and the U.S. including Maple Leaf's Brandon plant, after finding traces of Ractopamine in shipments.

Ractopamine, marketed under the trade name Paylean, is a dietary supplement which promotes lean meat production while inhibiting fat production.

It was approved for use in the US in 1999 and in Canada in 2005.

Canadian Meat Council executive director Jim Laws says there have been many instances where confusion has been created because a product has been approved in one country but not in another.

James Laws-Canadian Meat Council

This particular problem, which is one of many that we have, it certainly indicates that the world needs to move towards some type of international accreditation of these various feed ingredients or veterinary drugs and share and accept some international body's approval of these things.

Then we could point toward some, for instance, CODEX standard for these so that we can all say look this has been proven internationally to be safe and therefore everybody around the globe should be allowed to use it.

It certainly points to a complication and the world needs to move there finally to make sure that trade continues and also to have different countries have the opportunity to have access to products that are allowed.

At the same time, if a country finds that a particular product is really not safe, similarly it should be disallowed in all countries around the world.

Laws suggests, in the absence of international standards, an acceptable short term solution might be to certify the pork has come from animals that have not been fed this particular additive.

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