by Linda Dulicai
This is a true story.
A man in his thirties started having problems with his heart racing, accompanied by anxiety attacks. Sounds normal that the two events would coincide, right, if you’ve got problems with anxiety? The thing is, it only happened after he ate large amounts of meat. What’s the connection?
After ruling out other conditions, the doctor said it was a reaction to something in the meat. What could possibly be in meat that would cause such a strange response? The answer seems to be ractopamine hydrochloride.
Haven’t heard of it? Ractopamine hydrochloride is a growth additive drug used in 80 percent of U.S. pig and cattle operations.
The chemical is used as a feed additive to promote leanness in animals raised for their meat. Pharmacologically, it is a beta-adrenergic agonist, which increases the rate at which animals convert feed to muscle by mimicking the body’s stress hormones. What is the result?
"Data from the European Food Safety Authority indicates that ractopamine causes elevated heart rates and heart-pounding sensations in humans," says the Center for Food Safety (CFS).
In an early Canadian study, monkeys given ractopamine "developed daily tachycardia,” which is rapid heartbeat. Rats fed ractopamine developed a host of birth defects like cleft palate, protruding tongue, short limbs, missing digits, open eyelids and enlarged heart. The study discovered that dose-dependent changes of heart rate and cardiac output are observed within the first hour after administration of ractopamine and gradually return to baseline values. The systolic blood pressure will also increase in a dose-dependent manner, while the diastolic pressure remains unchanged. Feelings of restlessness, apprehension, and anxiety were reported effects after the use of various beta-agonists, particularly after oral treatment.
Even the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Office of Public Health Science says, Ractopamine HCl is an “eye irritant and exposure may increase heart rate. Wear protective equipment, avoid breathing [the] powder.”
Ractopamine hydrochloride is the active ingredient in products known as Paylean for swine and Optaflexx for cattle. The chemical was developed by Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, one of the “Big Pharm” corporations. A group of environmental and public health groups sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationin November 2014, seeking to set aside the agency's approvals for feed additives containing ractopamine. The groups, in two related lawsuits filed in federal court, claim that the FDA failed to adequately assess environmental and health issues related to ractopamine.
Ractopamine use has been banned in most countries, including the European Union, mainland China and Russia. China rejected 42 metric tons of frozen pig parts after finding traces of ractopamine. In 2013, Russia banned U.S. pork and beef imports because the meat contained the chemical.
According to Linda Dulicai, an Alternative Health Practitioner with years of experience working with environmental justice groups on issues of industrial animal factories, “Meat rejected by other countries has been returned to be sold to guess who…you. While I see petitions galore to keep Chinese chicken off our shelves, the Taiwanese rioted twice to keep ractopamine pigs out of their markets. Studies have shown there are differences in the quality of the meat, to say nothing of the moral questions related to animal cruelty.”
The young man was given all this information. He is scared, and rightly so. There are ways to avoid ingesting this and other chemicals, however. Dulicai says it starts with buying organic meat and asking your grocery store for chemical free meat.
A practitioner for more than 38 years, Linda Dulicai is a Certified Natural Health Professional and an Advanced Loomis Digestive Health Specialist educated in more than 25 modalities of wellness. She is CEO of The Healthy Zone. Linda can be reached at 540-428-1949 or linda@The-Healthy-Zone.com.