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Codex Commission Adopts Ractopamine Maximum Residue Levels for Beef and Pork

Friday, July 6, 2012

(American Meat Institute)

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) has voted to adopt maximum residue levels (MRLs) of ractopamine, a feed ingredient that improves meat metabolism and protein synthesis, for beef and pork muscle, fat, liver and kidney. The Commission voted 69-67 in favor of establishing the MRLs of 10 parts per billion in beef and pork. Adoption of the MRLs was supported by the U.S., Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, the Philippines and the majority of the rest of the world outside of Europe in an effort to send a message that Codex is a science-based body and that inaction is not an option in an increasingly globalized world. 

“The adoption of ractopamine MRLs should facilitate trade,” said AMI Vice President of International Trade William Westman.   “International standards on food safety are essential for importing and exporting countries.  These science-based standards are vital to protect consumer health and harmonize trade standards in all countries.”

The Codex vote brings it in line with findings from the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) which has evaluated and confirmed the human safety of ractopamine three times (2004, 2006, 2010). The MRLs become final once the Commission adopts the final Commission Report on Saturday, July 7.

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