China is to ban both import and export of ractopamine and ractopamine hydrochloride, the country’s Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs has said.
The ban takes effect as of Wednesday, 9 December.
Ractopamine and ractopamine hydrochloride are stimulant drugs that are used as feed additives to promote leanness in pigs raised for their meat.
Most countries around the world had not approved their use as veterinary drugs or additive in animal feed. China prohibited their use in 2002 because of possible health risks to humans.
An official with the foreign trade division under the Ministry of Commerce, who asked not to be named, told Xinhua news that ractopamine and ractopamine hydrochloride had no other major uses apart from use in feed additives.
The official said countries around the world had different views on ractopamine. Countries such as the United States and Australia approved its use, but it is banned in China and in EU countries.
China was banning the import of ractopamine, but also the export because of possible health risks, the official said.