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Ractopamine is a drug that is used as a feed additive to promote leanness in pigs raised for their meat. The feed additive Paylean®, produced by the U.S. company Elanco Animal Health, contains ractopamine hydrochloride. Paylean was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration on December 22, 1999, and has also been approved in more than 20 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Thailand. However it is banned in other countries, including China; which prohibited its use in 2002. 
Additional recommended knowledge
Ractopamine in feed for animals is responsible for dramatic muscle growth, yet it is not a steroid or hormone, but rather a compound known as a beta agonist. Only a trace amount of ractopamine need be added for a marked increase in protein and decrease in fat accretion in animals, in particular swine. For the last 90 pounds of live weight gain, a mere 18.5 grams of ractopamine added to a ton of feed (20 ppm) will increase protein by 24% and decrease fat by 34%.
In July 2007 Chinese officials seized U.S.-produced pork for containing ractopamine residues. Further shipments of ractopamine fed pork were seized in September, though this time they were Canadian in origin. 
Ractopamine has been banned in Taiwan since 2006. 
In the summer of 2007, the substance caused considerable controversy in Taiwan. Two U.S. shipments including ractopamine-laced pork were rejected by Taiwan's health authorities, while the Taiwan government had been considering lifting the ban on such imports.  This resulted in mass protests in the capital of Taipei by swine farmers insisting that the ban remain in place. Department of Health Minister Hou Sheng-mou (侯勝茂) declared that there would be no lifting of the ban unless related laws were amended.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ractopamine". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|