Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, has announced plans to prohibit the use of feed additive ractopamine in hogs in order to meet the global growing demand for US pork. The policy will be put in place at the beginning of next year.
Ractopamine is a feed ingredient that helps increase the amount of lean meat in hogs. While it is FDA-approved and considered safe for use, some countries such as China prohibit the import of pork from hogs that have been given the product.
The change, that is in accordance with Chinese regulations, has been recognised as a method by Tyson to boost sales to Chinese buyers, as the country is currently facing a pork shortage due to an outbreak of African swine fever.
The US corporation has already been offering a limited amount of ractopamine-free pork to export customers, by working with farmers who raise hogs without ractopamine and by segregating the animals and products at processing plants. However, these programs no longer adequately meet the growing global demand and Tyson has sought further action.
Farmers who supply the market hogs have until 4 February 2020 to meet Tyson’s new requirement. According to Tyson, the subsidiary plans to work with its farmers over the next few months, by testing the hogs to ensure they are ractopamine-free.
Steve Stouffer, president of Tyson Fresh Meats said: “We believe the move to prohibit ractopamine use will allow Tyson Fresh Meats and the farmers who supply us to compete more effectively for export opportunities in even more countries.”
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