The 2020 Franklin County Fair will be Ractopamine Free.
What is Ractopamine?
Ractopamine Hydrochloride is a beta-adrenergic agonist that when fed according to label directions can improve pig growth rates, carcass compositions, and feed conversion efficency. Product tradenames include: Paylean, Optaflexx, Engain, Actogain, and other generic derivatives.
What does Ractopamine-Free mean?
Ractopamine-free swine production is now a market specification/requirement throughout much of the U.S. pork packing industry. Ractopamine (sold under the trade names Paylean® or Engain® for swine, and Optaflexx® or Actogain® for cattle) is an approved product used to increase lean growth rate. The use of ractopamine in pig diets has specifically been banned in many international pork and pork product markets. Ractopamine remains an FDA approved product that can be legally fed in the U.S. at approved levels and approved time periods in the life of a market-destined hog, but restrictions from trade partners have led to its removal from most production systems. Many U.S. pork packers have determined they will not purchase ractopamine-fed pigs in order to meet market demands, maintain trade requirements, and help protect markets that account for upwards of 25% of the total value of annual U.S. pork sales. In response, proper processes to remove ractopamine are needed in all instances where the pork (meat) or pork products (internal organs, blood, fat, etc.) may enter a market that has been designated as ractopamine-free. Swine producers, exhibitors, feed industry participants, and transportation participants all maintain a role when meeting the packer specification for ractopamine-free swine. Steps you can take as a pig producer and industry participant to assist removal of ractopamine from your pigs’ feed and environment, and which may provide access to ractopamine-free markets, are outlined in the resources below.