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Unhealthy Additive in Beef...Is This a Problem?


Posted on Oct 10, 2013

Parents are becoming more and more cautious about which meat they allow their children to eat. Today some countries are halting meat imports from the U.S. claiming that the meat is unhealthy. Should you be letting your kids eat this?

South Korea recently stopped shipments of JBS USA beef after finding out that it has the additive zilpaterol in it. Fox News reports zilpaterol is a controversial animal growth enhancer. It is fed to animals to add muscle weight to them.

“There is a ban in much of Asia and Europe on feed additives such as zilpaterol due to concerns about the side effects of these drugs, which are used to add muscle weight to animals. Feed additives have been under the spotlight since a video appeared in the United States in August, showing animals struggling to walk and with other signs of distress after taking a growth drug,” according to Fox.

South Korea said they halted the shipment from Swift Beef, a unit of JBS, because 22 tons of meat was contaminated. South Korea said they have issued stringent standards for meat coming from the U.S. after Taiwanese officials also found much zilpaterol in the meat that was delivered to them from the United States. Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration ordered that the meat be sent back to the U.S. “Zilpaterol is a beta-agonist, a kind of feed additive that can add as much as 30 pounds of saleable meat to an animal in the weeks before slaughter,” according to Fox.

If there is zilpaterol in the meat being sent abroad then is it also in the meat being sold here at home? Fox tried to get a statement from a representative of Swift Beef but no one was available for a comment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also did not comment on the controversy.

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