China Bans Trade in Ractopamine

CHINA - China has banned both the import and export of ractopamine and ractopamine hydrochloride.
calendar icon 11 December 2009
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According to an official source, the announcement was made on 8 December by the country's Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs, and the ban took effect the following day.

Ractopamine and ractopamine hydrochloride are stimulant drugs that are used as feed additives to promote leanness in pigs raised for their meat. Most countries around the world had not approved their use as veterinary drugs or additive in animal feed. China prohibited their use in 2002 because of possible health risks to humans.

An official with the foreign trade division under the Ministry of Commerce, who asked not to be named, told Xinhua that ractopamine and ractopamine hydrochloride have no other major uses apart from use in feed additives.

The official said countries around the world had different views on ractopamine. Countries such as the US and Australia approved its use, but it is banned in China and in EU countries.

China was banning the import of ractopamine, but also the export because of possible health risks, the official said.

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