December 2, 2008

Malaysia to probe use of growth promoter in pigs

Malaysia's Health Ministry will investigate claims that pig farmers are using ractopamine, an unapproved growth promoter.


The ministry will look into the matter, as it could affect the entire pig farming industry, including the possibility of another consumer boycott of pork, said Health Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai.


Veterinarian Datuk Donald Lee Chong Meng said 90 percent of the ractopamine used by domestic pig farmers are imported from China.


Ractopamine imported from the US were approved as it meets international production and safety standards. However, ractopamine produced in China was not registered due to safety concerns, and fears were reinforced after the melamine scandal, said Lee.


Lee suggested that the government should make it mandatory for companies importing ractopamine from China to register their drug with the authorities to ensure the quality and safety of the drug.

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