JBS USA to Produce Pork Without Growth Drug Banned by China, Seeking More Exports

CHICAGO – JBS USA will remove a growth drug banned by Beijing from its U.S. hog supply, the company said on Friday, accelerating the competition for pork exports as China grapples with a devastating pig disease.

The meat packer’s move away from the drug ractopamine, a feed additive, shows how companies are maneuvering to take advantage of an expected shortage in China, the world’s largest pork consumer, due to African swine fever (ASF).

Though not harmful to humans, the disease is deadly to pigs, with no vaccine available. It surfaced for the first time in Asia more than a year ago in China, and has now spread to over 50 countries, according to the World Organization of Animal Health – including those that account for 75% of global pork production.

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