The Nov. 4 policy announcement means the “Never Fed Beta Agonists” marketing claim is available to companies producing livestock and beef and pork products when they submit marketing programs to the Livestock, Poultry and Seed (LPS) Program for verification and monitoring.

To meet the requirements of the Never Fed Beta Agonist program, they can submit their program under a USDA Process Verified Program, or a USDA Quality System Assessment.

The use of beta agonists for finishing cattle became a concern over the summer when the makers of Zilmax, or zilpaterol, suspended sales due to animal welfare concerns from packers. Reports indicated the potency of the product may be a factor for immobile cattle when shipped in summer.


The other beta agonist, Optaflexx or ractopamine, has been banned by trade partners such as Russia, and has been a factor in reduced volume of U.S. beef to that country. end mark