On October 30, 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced China will soon resume imports from 14 U.S. pork plants and warehouses. Last year China suspended shipments from the 14 U.S. pork manufacturers because the hogs used in these facilities were fed ractopamine, an additive which helps promote lean muscle growth in hogs. China prohibits the import of hogs that have been fed this additive and bans facilities from importing to China when traces of ractopamine are detected.
According to an email Brownfield News received from the USDA, the agreement reached was “to resume pork export opportunities for 6 processing and 8 cold storage facilities. U.S. facilities participating in one of USDA’s Ractopamine control programs, either the “Never Fed Beta Agonist” program or the Ractopamine- free program, will resume exports shortly.” These programs are administered by the USDA and used to verify that livestock has never been fed ractopamine.
According to the USDA e-mail, “U.S. pork exports to China were valued at more than $474 million in 2014. China is the world’s top consumer of pork and China imports more pork than another other country.” The lifting of the restrictions on the 14 companies is expected to help increase U.S. pork exports and cause a significant sales boost.