Meat packer JBS USA says it will remove ractopamine, a growth drug banned by Beijing, from its U.S. hog supply, to maximize export opportunities as African swine fever (ASF) wreaks havoc on China’s pork industry.
This move shows how companies are maneuvering to take advantage of an expected pork shortage in China due to African swine fever (ASF), Reuters reports.
JBS USA, owned by Brazil’s JBS SA, removed ractopamine from internally owned production systems in August 2018. The company is now prohibiting ractopamine from hogs owned by farmers who sell livestock to JBS USA.
Rival U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods, owned by China’s WH Group, raises all of its hogs on company-owned and contract farms without this feed additive. According to Reuters, Tyson Foods Inc previously said it was looking at diversifying its pork supply to include ractopamine-free hogs as demand expands.
“We are confident this decision will provide long-term benefits to our producer partners and our industry by ensuring U.S. pork products are able to compete fairly in the international marketplace,” JBS USA said.
Ractopamine, an FDA-approved feed supplement, has been used in hog production for many years to produce leaner pork.
ASF, a deadly disease of pigs, poses no food safety risks and is not harmful to humans. To learn more about the spread of ASF, visit porkbusiness.com/ASF.
More from Farm Journal's PORK: