FDA faces legal firestorm over deadly livestock drug banned across 160 countries

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factory-farming(NatualHealth365)  Anyone who is even moderately familiar with the factory farm industry understands the sheer volume of synthetic antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids, and other unhealthy chemicals fed to livestock.  These products don’t stay in the animal, either; instead, they are passed through to the humans who consume them.

One such chemical used in factory farming is ractopamine, a drug that rapidly increases the growth rate of the animals it is given to.  This reduces the amount of food and time required to grow a pig, turkey, or other animal to full size for slaughter, but the product causes considerable suffering for the animal and definitely passes on to humans who consume the meat.

We’ll examine this drug and why it has suddenly become a hot-button issue in the United States.  We will also consider its potential dangers and how you can mitigate those dangers for your family.

How factory farming destroys health and ethics: The case of ractopamine

Ractopamine is a beta antagonist that works by rapidly increasing muscle growth and development in the animals in which it is administered.  This increases the speed at which the animal reaches maturity and can be slaughtered for consumption, but it also causes severe damage to the animal’s structure.  A large number of livestock animals that have this product used on them experience paralysis, tremors, severe pain, shortened life expectancy, cardiac and respiratory problems, and the list goes on and on.

Additionally, there is evidence that humans who consume the meat of animals treated with this product themselves have respiratory and cardiac issues.  It is also documented that those who work with this product definitely experience cardiac and breathing issues through repeated exposure.

This product is used on cows, chickens, turkeys, and pigs throughout the factory farming industry.  In addition to the severe health risks posed to humans who consume the meat or work with this chemical, the inhumane suffering of the animals that are treated with it is something that should alarm anyone with a conscience.

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And here’s the kicker: ractopamine is banned in over 160 countries, but the United States is not one of them.

Health organizations bring the fight to the FDA

In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was given notice by a group of concerned individuals and communities to look into the banning of ractopamine based on sufficient evidence from studies on the product and the overwhelming ban it received across the world.  The FDA said it would examine the drug over the next 8 years to determine a course of action, but as of 2024, no decision has been made, and ractopamine is still used in thousands of farms across the country.

The group bringing these concerns to the FDA has a goal of banning this chemical outright, and they cite the health risks to humans as well as the cruel suffering of the animals as their reasoning.

There is also a concern that ractopamine will end up in water supplies because up to 95% of it is excreted in animal waste after dosing.  This is, of course, horrific due to the potential contamination of all manner of wildlife, but it could also affect people using that water without them even being aware of it.  Much like herbicide and insecticide runoff, people may be at significant risk even if they do their best to avoid factory farming.

As of the 2020 petition to the FDA, environmental groups showed that 60 to 80% of the total number of pigs used for food in the United States are treated at some point with ractopamine, a staggering amount for sure.

Staying safe from ractopamine exposure

If you eat factory-farmed meat, you are almost certainly consuming ractopamine on a daily basis, especially if you eat pork.  The fastest method for removing this chemical from your diet is to stop eating factory-farmed meat.

If you have the means, buying from local farms is always the best way to get your meat, even if it is slightly more expensive.  If there was a way for you to look into the future to see the medical costs you avoid by excluding factory-farmed meat products from your diet, you would see that the slight increase at the grocery store is worth it.

If you live in a rural community, it is worth finding out if the farms around you use ractopamine on their livestock and what they do to mitigate its spread into the groundwater.

Contact your local legislature and discuss your concern with ractopamine.  Senators and representatives can bring your concerns to Congress and request the FDA to act.

Another thing you can do to help further this cause is to speak about it with friends and family.  The more people that are aware that this insidious chemical is being inserted into our food supply, the louder the voices dissenting against this practice will get.

If enough people bring their concerns to the FDA, it will force a ban, or it will force lawsuits that bring about a ban.  Either way, with a combined effort from legislators and the general public, we can get this horrific chemical removed from our food supply forever.

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