Have you heard about ractopamine?
Oh, you’ve probably run into it before once or twice– it slithers into your favorite meat, creeping up on you before BAM! Your health is hit, and hard.
A drug given to many pigs before slaughter, ractopamine isn’t easily seen when you come into the grocery store looking for your precious primed pig, because labels don’t show it– but that doesn’t mean you aren’t eating it. And here’s the worst part: we don’t even know what it does to us when we do inevitably eat it.
But we’re pretty sure it isn’t good: ractopamine has been associated with “downed” animals, severe muscular tremors, cardiovascular problems, and increasingly-aggressive animals. The drug’s solitary human health study led to heart pounding in half of the study participants that was so frantic, they had to be “withdrawn from the study” for immediate medical intervention.
A lawsuit has since been filed toward the FDA for approving it because the agency didn’t first examine the “environmental and public health risks” it could bring. Despite the fact that it plays an integral role in U.S. meat production, ractopamine was never shown to be safe for the environment, animals, or us.
Even worse is the fact that it’s unknown how the drug might interact with other everyday farming drugs, such as hormones or antibiotics. As it is, though, these animal drugs are making their way into our waterways and tainting marine health and our available water supplies, offers Jonathan Evans, associate from the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s time for the FDA to stand up for the public and environment,” he continues, and quit “rubber-stamping industry approvals” of so many harmful animal drugs.
Now get this: animals given the drugs release ractopamine into manure, which crop producers then use to douse their fields. When producers put too much of this drug-infused manure into the Earth, it can often get into the surrounding environment and kill nearby plants and wildlife– harming the entire ecosystem in the process!
Wow. As someone who’s making the transition toward being more holistic, I couldn’t feel more repulsed about this scary animal drug reaching so many of our tummies. Though I don’t eat pork personally (never liked the stuff; I’m glad my taste buds knew better from the start), it’s frightening to hear that ractopamine is getting into produce crops, too!
Talk about making my heart race.
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