Beef Additive Alert™ is a national consumer awareness campaign based in cattle country Springfield, Nebraska.
We are veteran cattle ranchers committed to preserving USA Beef quality, consistency and integrity. We want an industry that does not depend on performance-enhancing drugs to boost profits at the expense of quality.
Let’s Preserve USA Beef
“We think FDA-approved beta agonists do not belong in the meat industry at all. In addition to animal welfare, we are also concerned about decreased quality and tenderness. We are in the beef business, not the chemical business,” said Beef Additive Alert Co-founder Harvey Dietrich
Beef Additive Alert™ would prefer a beta agonist-free meat industry. For consumers. For animal well-being. For our economy. The USA boasts having the world’s premiere beef. Let’s keep it that way.
Two Drugs Concern Us
Zilmax (Zilpaterol Hydrochloride) and Optaflexx (Ractopamine) are controversial FDA-approved animal feed drugs known as beta agonists. These chemicals are mixed into feed to increase cattle muscle mass and weight.
Animal Welfare Concern
Renowned USA Ag Scientist Professor Temple Grandin has observed heat stress, lameness, hoof problems and aggressiveness in feedlot cattle fed beta agonists. “In hot weather, I have seen open mouth panting and a few animals were non-ambulatory (not able to walk) after fed beta agonists.”
Feed Drug/USA Beef Production
In Aug/Sept. 2013, Merck Animal Health itself suspended Zilmax cattle feed drug sales in the U.S. & Canada after a videotape surfaced showing Zilmax-fed animals in distress, with hoof problems and lameness, Reuters reported.
US Beef Processors
The nation’s leading meat packers halted buying Zilmax-fed cattle, led by industry leader Tyson. In a statement, Merck emphasized the product’s safety when used as directed. The cattle growth enhancer was introduced to the market in 2007.
Uneasy Industry Stalls Study
Merck scheduled a large-scale field evaluation of Zilmax in summer 2014, but the Wall Street Journal reports that the study of the cattle-fattening additive is stalled due to reluctance by beef processors to market the beef that the research would produce. Consumers view animal well-being a top concern.
Death Toll Higher Than Thought?
On March 11, 2014, Reuters publicized a Texas Tech and Kansas State University study that found “U.S. Cattle Deaths Linked to Zilmax Far Exceed Company Reports.”
Feed Additives Banned
Beta agonist cattle drugs are so controversial, the 27-member European Union, China, Taiwan, Russia &160 other countries ban or restrict them. Reuters reports that South Korea found beta agonist traces in U.S. Beef imports.