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News 823 views last update:Apr 9, 2009

EFSA evaluates safety of ractopamine in feed

The FEEDAP panel from EFSA has published an opinion on the safety of the growth promoter ractopamine.

Ractopamine is a growth promoter used in animal feed and is banned from use in food-producing animals in the EU, with some exceptions for therapeutic purposes.

In certain countries outside the EU, its regular use is allowed in swine and cattle feed to accelerate weight gain, improve feed efficiency and increase carcass leanness. The EU ban applies to meat produced in the EU and imported from third countries.

The European Commission asked EFSA to review that risk assessment and other scientific information regarding the safety of ractopamine, as well as safety for the target species and product quality. The Panel found no reason to do any proposals for more stringent maximum residue levels for ractopamine.

Elanco Animal Health, manufacturer of ractopamine, said it is pleased that EFSA has aligned with 26 other regulatory authorities in determining that "ractopamine is not mutagenic and is not likely to present a carcinogenic risk to consumers."

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