Pork and pork products destined for China after July 1 must test negative for ractopamine through the Ractopamine Residue Program or the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service's Never Fed Beta Agonist Program. Ractopamine has been approved for use in 26 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea. However, the European Union, China, and Thailand currently ban imports of pork from pigs fed ractopamine.
Under the Ractopamine Residue Program, testing will be done on muscle, liver or kidney tissue from a single representative animal from each lot. If a lot tests positive for ractopamine, all product from the lot is either diverted for another use or a testable portion of the sample is sent to another laboratory for confirmatory tests.
Establishments participating in the Never Fed Beta Agonists Program must meet different qualifications for the marketing claim such as developing a program to evaluate and approve suppliers of hogs or cattle that have never been fed beta agonists; segregation of live animals that have been fed beta agonists from those that have not before harvest; and verification testing using and AMS-approved method.
If meat raised by an approved supplier tests positive for beta agonists, the supplier and product will be excluded from the program until corrective actions have been taken and verified as effective. Additional information on the Ractopamine Control Program is available on the USDA-FSIS website.