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Groups Want Animal Feed Additive Banned

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Two federal lawsuits challenge the Food and Drug Administration's approval of an animal feed additive that's already been fed to 1 billion farm animals.

The Nov. 6 lawsuits challenge the FDA's approval of drugs that contain ractopamine hydrochloride, a feed additive the plaintiffs say is banned or restricted in dozens of nations, including the European Union and China.

The Center for Food Safety, the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club sued the FDA in one complaint; the Humane Society of the United States, United Farmworkers of America and Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a similar lawsuit on the same day.

In its lawsuit, the Center for Food Safety claims the FDA approved animal drugs containing the additive for use in "an estimated one billion pigs, turkeys and cows from 2008 to 2014."

The groups claim that scientists have linked the additive to health issues in humans and animals, including abnormal heartbeat, aggression, collapse and death.

Both lawsuits seek preliminary and permanent injunctive relief barring the use of ractopamine-based animal drugs until the FDA complies with National Environmental Policy Act procedures.

The Center for Food Safety is represented by Paige Tomaselli.

The Humane Society is represented by Jonathan Lovvorn.

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