Ractopamine. It even sounds dangerous. And guess what, you’re probably eating it and don’t know. This chemical is added to cattle, swine and turkey feed to make their meat leaner. When you eat beef, pork or turkey that has been fed ractopamine some of the chemical can get absorbed in your body too. We don’t know what it does to humans (the manufacturer claims it’s perfectly safe to eat) even though there have been reports of animals becoming sick from eating ractopamine tainted feed.
At least 160 countries ban its use, but here in America? Well, the FDA, relying on self-reported studies from the drug manufacturer; studies that have never been fully vetted, says it’s OK – eat away. The FDA really can’t be relied upon to ensure the food we eat is safe. Known for its lax oversight in clinical drug trials, can we really expect the FDA would be more cautious when it comes to animals?
Interestingly Smithfield Foods, known for its habitual cruelty to animals, doesn’t feed ractopamine to animals it intends to slaughter for export overseas. Does Smithfield care more about the health of people in other countries than it does about its fellow Americans?
Notwithstanding the fact that most Americans don’t need meat at all; and can get adequate nutrition from plant based foods, eating meat has been connected to a variety of health problems including obesity and cancer. By giving up meat you can live a healthier life and save some poor fellow creatures from unnecessary suffering.
If you are going to buy meat at least find a producer that raises its animals the way God intended, not in some factory farm where animals are crammed shoulder to shoulder and are forced to stand in their own excrement. You can check the Animal Welfare Approved website for a store or supplier near you at: http://www.animalwelfareapproved.org/