Hormel Foods Corp to ban use of ractopamine from April 1

Hormel Food Corps has joined Tyson Foods and JBS in removing a drug banned by China from hog supply.

The creator of the canned cooked pork product, Spam, has said it is to eliminate the growth-promoting drug called ractopamine which is banned in many countries around the world including China and EU member countries. The company says that the ban will allow the brand to become more competitive and increase sales in the Chinese market.

From April 1, the corporation will no longer accept any hogs that have been fed or exposed to the drug ractopamine. The drug, which is manufactured by Elanco Animal Health Inc and is branded as Paylean, was banned in the European Union in 2014 as it was deemed meat from livestock fed the drug was not safe for human consumption.

Defra Minister Lord Gardiner has told the House of Lords that the UK will adopt all EU food safety, environmental and animal welfare standards on leaving the EU. NPA senior policy Ed Barker said his announcement had significant implications for the pig sector as this “would confirm that a non-EU pork exporter to the UK would have to adhere to EU’s rules on demonstrating ‘ractopamine free’ pork exports.”

A spokesman from Hormel commented on the corporation’s decision to ban the controversial drug: “We have been actively monitoring the changing global market dynamics for several years and believe this decision will further position us to meet growing international demand,”

The decision follows the news that China is expected to buy more US pork after agreeing to significantly increase imports of American farm goods under an interim trade deal reached last month with Washington. Beijing said it will grant exemptions on retaliatory tariffs imposed against 696 U.S. goods, including pork, which has previously impeded American exports.

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