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Agricultural News

Activist Groups Attack Ractopamine- Suing FDA Claiming Lack of Oversight of the Beta-Agonist

Fri, 07 Nov 2014 07:02:08 CST

Activist Groups Attack Ractopamine- Suing FDA Claiming Lack of Oversight of the Beta-Agonist  Two lawsuits have been filed this week in federal district courts in California against the Food and Drug Administration over lack of regulatory oversight of ractopamine, which is fed in the final days before slaughter of hogs, cattle and turkeys to help the animals convert more of the feed they ingest into lean muscle.

On Wednesday, the Humane Society of the US joined with The United Farm Workers, and The Animal Legal Defense Fund in asking the federal district court in San Francisco to set-aside FDA's approvals of the drugs at issue while the agency performs the environmental review required under the National Environmental Policy Act. Click here to see the paperwork filed by the three groups this week.   

HSUS claims the FDA has no idea what the long term impact on the environment is when it comes to ractopamine being fed to livestock- saying in their news release on the legal action
"The FDA's actions have far-reaching impacts on millions of animals, millions of acres of habitat, and thousands of farm workers throughout the United States," said Jonathan Lovvorn, Senior Vice President & Chief Counsel for Animal Protection Litigation at The HSUS. "America's animal factories are pumping out uncounted tons of ractopamine-laced animal waste into the environment each year, and the FDA has no idea what the long-term environmental effects might be."

A second lawsuit was filed Thursday by the Center for Food Safety, the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club making similar claims.

The Center for Food Safety issued a news release as well- quoting Paige Tomaselli, senior attorney for Center for Food Safety saying "FDA is basing controversial drug approvals on incomplete and inadequate environmental analyses. These drugs in our food supply impact the environment, thousands of farm workers, millions of consumers, and billions of animals. FDA cannot continue to abdicate its responsibility to do its job."

The maker of the products in question is Elanco Animal Health- and they were not named in either of the legal actions by the groups.

Ractopamine goes by the brand name Optaflexx for feedlot cattle, Paylean for hogs and Topmax for Turkeys.



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