China bans import and export of ractopamine
China is to ban both import and export of ractopamine and ractopamine hydrochloride.
According to the country's Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs, the ban is to take effect as of December 9, 2009.
Ractopamine and ractopamine hydrochloride are stimulant drugs that are used as feed additives to promote leanness in pigs and cattle by diverting nutrients away from fat production and into the muscle.
Most countries around the world had not approved their use as veterinary drugs or additive in animal feed. In 2002, China prohibited the usage of these drugs due to the possible health risks to humans.
However, there are still 24 countries that support the use of ractopamine and the World Trade Organisation has allowed residual trace of ractopamine in measured amounts.