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Ractopamine is a feed additive that promotes leanness in animals raised for the production of meat, and it is banned in most countries. Pharmacologically, it is a TAAR1 agonist and a β adrenoreceptor agonist that stimulates β1 and β2 adrenergic receptors. It is an active ingredient developed by Elanco Animal Health (a division of Eli Lilly and Company) to promote the growth of food animals. In addition, ractopamine hydrochloride is a pharmaceutical raw material that can be used to treat congestive heart failure. It can also be used to treat muscular dystrophy, increase muscle mass, reduce fat accumulation, and benefit the growth of the fetus and newborn.
Problems and hazards of the use of ractopamine in meat
Ractopamine is being added to pig feed as a new type of lean meat agent, which further increases the growth rate and efficiency of muscle tissue. The toxicity of ractopamine is much lower than other lean meat agents with the same function. Conventional doses of ractopamine can be metabolized and excreted in the body without any harm to the body. However, excessive intake of ractopamine can cause varying degrees of toxic reactions in the human body. The symptoms of human ractopamine poisoning are similar to those of animals, which are characterized by muscle tremor, quadriplegia, tachycardia, arrhythmia, abdominal pain, muscle pain, nausea and dizziness. In severe cases, it can cause high blood pressure, heart disease and even death.
Regulations for the use of ractopamine
The regulations regarding the scope and safety of ractopamine in the aquaculture industry vary from country to country. Ractopamine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1999, but the EU, Russia and China banned the use of ractopamine to feed pigs. In 2009, ractopamine was banned as a feed additive in nearly 200 countries.
EU regulations on other uses of animal drugs
Obligations of animal-derived food operators: use drugs according to drug requirements. The duties of the official regulatory authorities include:
? Inspection of the production, storage, transportation, distribution and use of pharmaceuticals; Inspection of feed production and distribution; Inspection without prior notice; When illegal use of drugs is suspected, the farm shall be inspected, and the farm and the veterinarian shall provide assistance; The fodder, drinking water and animals in breeding ground shall be used for sampling.
Other EU requirements for animal-derived foods
? Food should have a clear certification; Food companies should establish a HACCP plan; Special requirements: In the process of transporting animals to the slaughterhouse, the welfare requirements of the slaughtered animals should be guaranteed; Animals should be fully rested before slaughter, and animal welfare should be guaranteed; Animal-derived food companies must obtain registration from the competent authority in accordance with the conditions stipulated by the regulations; Animal slaughtering operations must meet specified hygiene requirements.
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