Frankenfood: Drug banned in 160 countries wins FDA approval for US meat. Discuss.

Think Free 2012/03/06 03:06:04
A livestock drug banned in 160 nations and responsible for
hyperactivity, muscle breakdown and 10 percent mortality in pigs has
been approved by the FDA.

The beta agonist ractopamine, a repartitioning agent that increases
protein synthesis, was recruited for livestock use when researchers
found the drug, used in asthma, made mice more muscular.

Ractopamine is started as the animal nears slaughter.

How does a drug marked, “Not for use in humans. Individuals with
cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid
exposure. Use protective clothing, impervious gloves, protective eye
wear, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask” become “safe” in human food? With
no washout period?

The drug is banned in Europe, Taiwan and China, and more than 1,700
people have been “poisoned” from eating pigs fed the drug since 1998,
but ractopamine is used in 45 percent of U.S. pigs and 30 percent of
ration-fed cattle.

Why is Ractopamine Allowed in U.S. Meat?

While other drugs require a clearance period of around two weeks to
help ensure the compounds are flushed from the meat prior to slaughter
(and therefore reduce residues leftover for human consumption), there is
no clearance period for ractopamine.

In fact, food growers intentionally use the drug in the last days before slaughter in order to increase its effectiveness.

“How does a drug marked, “Not for use in humans. Individuals with
cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid
exposure. Use protective clothing, impervious gloves, protective eye
wear, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask” become “safe” in human food? With
no washout period?” asks columnist Martha Rosenberg.

She answers:

“The same way Elanco’s other two blockbusters, Stilbosol
(diethylstilbestrol or DES), now withdrawn, and Posilac or bovine growth
hormone (rBST), bought from Monsanto in 2008, became part of the
nation’s food supply: shameless corporate lobbying.

A third of meetings on the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s public calendar in January 2009 were with Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly — or about ractopamine.”

Massive Industry Lobbying Gets Agribusiness What it Wants … at Your Expense

Industrial agriculture lobbyists wield incredible power in Congress,
and the fact that ractopamine is in U.S. meat is a shining testimony to

Time magazine put it quite well when they described current farm
policy as “a welfare program for the megafarms that use the most fuel,
water and pesticides; emit the most greenhouse gases; grow the most
fattening crops; hire the most illegals; and depopulate rural America.”

There are too many conflicts of interest to name, but, for example,
you may be surprised to learn that former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is
now the Secretary of Agriculture, an appointment that took place despite
massive public outcry.

What was needed for an effective Secretary of Agriculture was someone
who would develop and implement a plan that promotes family-scale
farming and a safe and nutritious food system with a sustainable and
organic vision.

What we got was yet another politician who’s already made room in his
bed for the industry lobby. Overall, Vilsack’s record is one of aiding
and abetting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or factory
farms (the ones that use chemicals like ractopamine) and promoting
animal cloning.

Cozy Connections Allowed rbGH Hormones in Your Dairy Products, Too

Michael Taylor, a former vice president of public policy and chief
lobbyist at Monsanto Company, is now the senior advisor for the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Who is Michael Taylor?

He is the person who not only “oversaw the creation of GMO policy,”
according to Jeffrey Smith, the leading spokesperson on the dangers of
GM foods, but also oversaw the policy regarding Monsanto’s genetically
engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH/rbST).

This growth hormone, which has been banned in Canada, Europe, Japan,
Australia and New Zealand because of cancer risks and other health
concerns, was approved in the United States while Taylor was in charge
at the FDA. Smith writes:

“Taylor also determined that milk from injected cows did not require
any special labeling. And as a gift to his future employer Monsanto, he
wrote a white paper suggesting that if companies ever had the audacity
to label their products as not using rbGH, they should also include a
disclaimer stating that according to the FDA, there is no difference
between milk from treated and untreated cows.”

Taylor’s white paper, which again was untrue as even FDA scientists acknowledged differences in the rbGH milk, allowed Monsanto to sue dairies that labeled their products rbGH-free!

In a similar vain, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office
of Surveillance and Compliance sent a 14-page warning letter to Elanco
regarding ractopamine three years after its approval for use in pigs.
They accused the company of withholding information about “safety and
effectiveness” and “adverse animal drug experiences.”

Nonetheless, the next year the FDA decided to approved ractopamine for use in cattle, too, and later for turkeys as well.

What Should You do if You Don’t Want Drugs and Chemicals in Your Food?

As the U.S. agriculture industry now stands, antibiotics, pesticides,
GM ingredients, hormones and countless other drugs are fair game in
your food. So if you purchase your food from a typical supermarket, you
are taking your chances that your food is teeming with chemicals and
drugs — even those that have been banned in other countries.

So please do your health a favor and support the small family farms in your area.
You’ll receive nutritious food from a source that you can trust, and
you’ll be supporting the honest work of a real family farm.

It all boils down to this: if you want to optimize your health, you
must return to the basics of healthy food choices. Put your focus on
WHOLE foods — foods that have not been processed or altered from their
original state — food that has been grown or raised as nature intended,
without the use of chemical additives, drugs, hormones, pesticides and

It’s as simple as that!

It is not nearly as daunting a task as it may seem to find a local
farmer that can supply your family with healthy, humanely raised animal
products and produce. At LocalHarvest.org, for instance, you can enter
your zip code and find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources
of sustainably grown food in your area, all with the click of a button.

Once you make the switch from supermarket to local farmer, the choice
will seem natural, and you can have peace of mind that the food you’re
feeding your family is safe.

...from foodconsumer.org

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  • A Founding Father 2012/03/06 07:05:50
    A Founding Father
    Ain't this "free market capitalism" one great adventure for us? Why, the major stockholders of Con Agra, Iowa Beef Processors, Hormel Foods, and others are
    the most patriotic and conservative people we can find. They are, by and large,
    Christians, just doing what their MBA and LLBs from Harvard and Yale leads them
    to do, to make "prosperity" and "trickle down" for all true Americans. Let's support
    their lobbyists who demand FDA, SEC, and Treasury do as they are told. Now, if your
    little girl grows breasts at age six, and your son has pubic hair before his fifth birthday,
    you just tell the kids they have been chosen by "God" to be special. They won't know
    anything about the effects of these drugs they eat in their hot dogs and morning sausage.
  • Bozette 2012/03/06 03:38:35
    Monsanto is putting farmers out of business and costing them their savings and retirement at the same time it is poisoning both the food and the environment. And the US government is bending over backwards to fast track things for them without concern for the health of Americans.

    Meanwhile...farmers and co-ops across the country that grow/raise good, wholesome food are being harassed, raided, shut down, charged, even forced to pour bleach over and discard food. Raw mild dairies are suffering the same fate.

    This is about money and control. The end result is that the vast majority of the foods available in the stores today have one or more of the following in them: exictotoxins, msg, flouride, anti-biotics, hormones, aspertame, pecticides, herbacides...on and on the list goes. Labels do not give accurate or complete accounts of what is contained in the food with the full approval of the US government.

    People, as well as governments all over the world are fighting this...here in the US few are fighting and those are some of those being harassed. Our government isn't fighting this...it is helping it and actually hindering those who produce good, wholesome, organic foods.

    It is time we join the farmers and co-ops in their fight against this.

    Good post, thanks.

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