The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) strongly disapproves of a United Nations (UN) commission’s failure to approve an international standard for a widely used feed additive.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission, established by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and its World Health Organization to promote food safety and fair trading practices, refused to adopt a science-based standard for ractopamine, a feed additive used to promote leanness in pork and beef. This is the fourth consecutive year that establishment of a standard will be held at the final stage before approval.

“U.S. pork producers are very disappointed that the Codex commission succumbed to the bullying of countries that had no scientific reasons for opposing adoption of a standard for ractopamine,” says NPPC President Doug Wolf, a pork producer from Lancaster, WI. “This is a scientifically proven safe product, and the commission failed again to act on its mandate to base standards and guidelines on science. This lack of action calls into question Codex’s legitimacy as the international reference body for scientific standards for food.”

Elanco Animal Health, which manufactures and markets ractopamine under the trade names of Paylean for swine and Optaflexx for cattle, also expressed disappointment.

“We are disappointed that due to national interests and procedural matters Codex did not adopt the global food safety standards for ractopamine. Codex standards for ractopamine would help countries to differentiate ractopamine, a beta-agonist that can be safely used in food animal production, from other beta-agonists,” says Dennis Erpelding, director, corporate affairs of Elanco.

“Adoption by Codex of the ractopamine standards would have been a major step towards helping address worldwide hunger and enabling sustainable meat production as experts predict that ractopamine’s worldwide adoption, based on the increased meat yields, could result in billions of additional servings of pork and beef per year,” says Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco.

Paylean use yields about 6 lb. of additional lean pork and improves feed efficiency by 10%. Label information is available at http://www.elanco.us/products/index.htm or http://www.elanco.com/products.html.