Russia’s decision to ban imports of meat that may have been produced using ractopamine has led to increased questions about livestock growth promotants. Ractopamine is a beta-agonist used by many cattle feedlots near the end of the feeding period to increase growth rate, feed efficiency, and carcass leanness.
Like vaccines and other veterinary products, all growth promotants approved for use in Canada have been studied to verify human and animal safety. These products, including ractopamine, are approved by Health Canada’s Veterinary Drug Directorate.
Label and veterinary directions indicate proper administration doses and routes, as well as pre-slaughter withdrawal times, that ensure that the product has been metabolized by the animal before the meat is harvested.
All animals and carcasses are subjected to pre- and post-slaughter inspections to look for signs of ill health and other food safety concerns. Random samples of carcass tissues and organs are tested for residues from antimicrobials, growth promotants, and other contaminants to continually confirm that Canadian beef is safe.
Learn more about ractopamine and other growth promotants used by Canada’s beef industry.
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