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 The United States exports about $500 million worth of beef and pork to Russia each year.  Russia announced in December that they would halt imports of beef, pork and turkey unless the U.S. meat is certified free of ractopamine.  For producers, processors, importers and exporters of animal-based food products and feed, the risk of failing to comply with legally permitted maximum limits can affect not only a brand but profits in the U.S and internationally. 

Ractopamine is a beta-agonist that increases protein synthesis in mature animals, resulting in increased muscle growth, feed efficiency and decreased days on feed.  Ractopamine is the active ingredient in products marketed as Paylean™ for swine and Optaflexx™ for cattle by Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission has set new maximum limits (MRL’s) for ractopamine in pig and cattle tissue in an effort to improve the trade of meat containing the growth substance.  Codex regulation allows no more than 10 parts per billion (ppb) for muscle cuts of beef and pork. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s limit is 30 ppb for beef and 50 ppb for pork.  Ractopamine is currently allowed to be used as a growth promotant in 25 countries worldwide.  The United States Department of Agriculture considers ractopamine safe and does not mandate testing for it.

SGS Brookings now has the capability to test ractopamine levels in meat tissue and feed products.  Our experienced scientists, Christopher Skaggs and Richard Larson, have the expertise to offer quick turnaround times in testing meat for export.      

Our laboratory also has extensive knowledge in relation to drug residue issues in feed and can provide testing to ensure the safety of livestock products.  Our laboratory uses High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence to determine ractopamine levels in cattle and swine feed.  The limit of quantification is 2.5 g/ton for feed and the level of detection for meat tissue is 1ppb. 

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 75,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories around the world.

For more information, please contact:

Richard Larson
Analytical Scientist
241 34th AvenueBrookings, SD 57006, USA
t: 877-692-7611, ext 5
e: richard.larson@sgs.com

or

Christopher Skaggs
Analytical Scientist
241 34th AvenueBrookings, SD 57006, USA
t: 877-692-7611, ext 5
e: christopher.skaggs@sgs.com