Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc. today announced plans to prohibit the use of ractopamine in the market hogs it buys from farmers beginning in February 2020.
Ractopamine is a feed ingredient that helps increase the amount of lean meat in hogs. While it is FDA-approved and considered safe for use, some countries such as China prohibit the import of pork from hogs that have been given the product.
Tyson Fresh Meats has been offering a limited amount of ractopamine-free pork to export customers by working with farmers who raise hogs without it, and by segregating the animals and products at processing plants. However, these programs no longer adequately meet growing global demand.
“We believe the move to prohibit ractopamine use will allow Tyson Fresh Meats and the farmers who supply us to compete more effectively for export opportunities in even more countries,” stated Steve Stouffer, President, Tyson Fresh Meats.
Most of the hogs delivered to the company’s pork plants are purchased from about 2,000 independent farmers.
Farmers have until February 4, 2020, to meet the new requirement.