16 farms have been reported to have closed down in China, following the discovery of an illegal drug which was used to produce lean meat.
The farms are located in Henan province, central China. The authorities which closed the farms also sealed 134 tonnes of pork products.
The illegal drug ractopamine was to have been fed to pigs, in order to produce lean pig meat. The contaminated pork have been sold to the market and Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co Ltd , the country’s main meat processor. Further reports state that shares of Henan Shuanghui Investment and Development fell 10 percent to 77.94 yuan on 15 March after its subsidiary in Jiyuan City purchased pigs fed with the drug.
The production of lean pork meat, means that there will be more income as the meat can be sold for a higher price.
Ractopamine is a drug that is used as a feed additive to promote leanness in pigs raised for their meat. The drug in feed for animals is responsible for dramatic muscle growth, yet it is not a steroid or hormone, but rather a compound known as a beta agonist.Ractopamine has also been implicated in making pigs more susceptible to stress from being handled, with behavioural and physiological changes, and in making them more aggressive. (Wikipedia)
The drug is legal in the US but banned in China, the EU and about 148 other countries.