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IMPORTANT NEWS for anyone who eats turkey, pork or beef: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed widespread use of ractopamine in turkey feed since its approval in 2008 without conducting comprehensive scientific studies that document the risks of ractopamine to human and animal health.
Ractopamine – a chemical drug fed to turkeys, pigs, and cattle to make them grow bigger and faster – is BANNED throughout Europe and in several other countries, but still completely legal in the USA.
The Center for Food Safety, the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club have now filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approving ractopamine for use in turkey feed without fully examining how the drug affects people, animals and the environment.
Ractopamine is a beta-adrenergic agonist used as a veterinary drug to increase weight gain in certain animals raised for food. It increases their heart rate and causes them to put on more lean muscle. There are limited studies available on ractopamine. And the ones that have been done raise serious red flags: The primary human study, conducted on just six healthy men, caused heart pounding in three of the men so severe that one of them had to be withdrawn from the study. The effect of ractopamine on humans is not fully understood, but consumption of products that contain ractopamine residues is certainly not advisable to people with cardiovascular issues. It has also been found to generate feelings of restlessness, apprehension and anxiety. 
It’s also HORRIBLY cruel to the animals: Since the drug was introduced, more than 160,000 pigs taking ractopamine have been reported to have suffered adverse effects, as of March 2011, according to a review of FDA records.  The drug has triggered more adverse reports in pigs than any other animal drug on the market. Pigs suffered from hyperactivity, trembling, broken limbs, inability to walk and death, according to FDA reports released under a Freedom of Information Act request. 
Ractopamine has been linked in a 2014 study to significantly increased mortality in cattle fed the drug. 
Ractopamine is fed to an estimated 80% of all beef, swine, and turkey raised in the United States.  California attempted to ban the sale and slaughter of livestock unable to walk, but that law was struck down by the Supreme Court after a lawsuit from meat producers. 
Both USDA and Consumer Reports have found traces of ractopamine in meat samples. One problem is that there is currently no mandatory date when the drug must be curtailed from animal feed – meaning that it can currently be fed to them up to the day of their slaughter!
Ractopamine has been approved for turkey feed since 2008. I believe that turkey should contain turkey… (and I’m sure the turkey feels this way also!) and should be fed real food. The only reason this drugging of turkeys with growth enhancers is done, is for increased profit.
The USA is out on a limb here. Numerous countries have banned imports of USA meat products because of this issue. 27 members of the European Union, China, Russia and Taiwan, ban or strictly limit the use of ractopamine. Yet the U.S. continues to approve ractopamine and drugs like it at break-neck pace.
It’s time that the chemical companies were reined in, instead of using humanity as a testing ground for their poisons. They shouldn’t be allowed to get rich while taking such cavalier risks with the public health. And the meat industry needs to start putting human health and animal welfare before profits.
What Can You Do About This?
There’s a lot you can do. Here are my ideas:
1) Share this page with your loved ones. I don’t want my family and friends eating this stuff and I’m sure you don’t either. So let’s get this info out there. Hit the share button, drop the link into an email or post it on your Facebook page.
2) Insist on turkey that isCertified Organic: Ractopamine, (as well as antibiotics and GMOs!) are totally prohibited in organic farming. 
3) Go vegetarian. Not that this page is a “go veg” promotional piece, but you would avoid these kinds of problems if you eat a nut roast instead… your call…
4) Ask questions. Where do you buy your Turkey? Where does the store buy it from? Ask them if the Turkey was fed with Ractopamine. If they don’t know what it is, make them aware! Send them to this page or email them the link. Ask them for the contact number for their supplier. Ask the supplier. Don’t give up. Pursue, pursue, pursue. This is the way that changes are made. If enough people do this, we arrive at a thing called “critical mass”. In short, it’s harder to manipulate an informed public. Research, learn and help others do the same. But speak kindly. It’s not their fault that they don’t know.
5) The Center For Food Safety has launched a petition to the FDA here – https://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15184
6) Contact your political representatives and make them aware of this important issue. They all have families too. Do you think they want to be giving them a potentially dangerous drug in their Thanksgiving Dinner that was banned in 29 countries?
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