Streams

Underreported: Controversial Livestock Hormone

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Helena Bottemiller, a reporter for The Food & Environment Reporting Network, looks at the controversial animal feed additive, ractopamine hydrochloride, which is widely used in the united states but the EU and China have banned it’s use, citing health concerns.

Guests:

Helena Bottemiller

Comments [6]

Jez

Harriet, it's not an antibiotic, it's more akin to epinephrine - a stress hormone. Chris - as it's use within the US industry is endemic (probably around 80% of all pigs), I seriously doubt that the Costco woman is correct. It is highly likely that Costco meat, if produced in the US, has come from pigs fed ractopamine. When fed to pigs, they become hypaeractive, more difficult to handle, have increased heart rates and are more aggressive to other pigs. Fact. However, it does clear the system quickly and it is unlikely that any residue within the meat will have any effect on human health, at least at the levels present if fed correctly to the pigs.

Jan. 29 2012 07:06 PM
HARRIET GROSE from morristown, new jersey, usa

to avoid eating meat is not the answer. any use of these destructive antibiotics hurts the host animals, the land where they are raised and humans. this practice needs to STOP. we are destroying the world and ourselves so that the chemical companies can make more money. it all boils down to greed not to eating meat.

Jan. 28 2012 07:49 AM
Chris from Stamford, CT

I checked with Costco if the animals they get the meat from were treated with ractopamine hydrochloride.
See below their response:

Dear Christoph,

We appreciate you taking the time to email Costco Wholesale.

No.

Thank you,

Sue
Costco Wholesale Corporation

Note this message was submitted through the costco.com web site customer suggestion page on 01/27/2012 09:56:10 PST

Jan. 27 2012 04:35 PM
Barbara Kaslow from NYC

God forbid we ever think about the animals, let alone the damage this crap does to us. thank you Supreme Court, I feel like you and the FDA are all asleep. We need to stop consuming so much meat and go back to regional producing they still get killed but not everyone can become a vegan completely. I wish I could. But I have cut way back on my meat consumption.
I hope I see a day that we get rid of factory farming. But I doubt it. The world is heading the other way. It's always all about money.

Jan. 26 2012 01:35 PM
Aeriadne from New York

Best solution: stop eating meat and animal by-products. Though more research needs to be done on this, animals who are chronically stressed or in pain often experience physiological changes by, for example, the release of corticosteroids. A meat consumer is likely consuming these stress hormones when they eat these unfortunate animals whose entire lives are lived under duress. The adding of drugs designed to alter the animals physically undoubtedly exacerbates this. Sadly, moneyed agribusiness lobbyists do not make it easy to pass or enforce legislation aimed at improving animal welfare.

Jan. 26 2012 01:29 PM
roy from east village

What affect does it has on those who consume it, over the long term.

Jan. 26 2012 01:20 PM

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