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No Growth Promoters in Aussie Pork, Says Coles

by 5m Editor
4 July 2011, at 9:21am

AUSTRALIA - Coles supermarket has ordered its fresh pork suppliers to not use a chemical in pig feed called Paylean.

Paylean is a growth promotert fed to pigs for up to four weeks to increase lean meat production by up to 10 per cent.

ABC reports that the ban is only on fresh pork now, but will extend to all deli line products in 2014.

A Coles spokesman says they have no scientific evidence of human health concerns.

"We never base any of our bans, like HGP in beef, on an issue around health.

"We base it on an issue around eating quality and also around customer requirements that meat be as natural as possible, and if we can achieve that without it being an undue cost burden to suppliers then we'll certainly do that," the spokesperson said.

The President of the Victorian Farmers Federation Pork Committee says the ban will make pork production less efficient.

John Bourke says he uses Paylean in the feed to save about A$5 per pig in the cost of finishing it for sale.

"We get our pigs to market faster and leaner, they use less feed, so it makes us more competitive."

He says Australian pig producers will not be able to compete with cheaper imports.

Professor Frank Dunshea of the University of Melbourne has been working with Paylean for more than 20 years.

He says Paylean fed over four weeks improves a pig's efficiency by up to 10 per cent.

Professor Dunshea says Paylean is safe.

Australian Pork Limited says the pork industry has no choice but to give the customer, Coles, what it wants, even it leaves a bigger environmental footprint by reducing efficiency in feed.