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USDA Clears Randox Food Diagnostics' Ractopamine Screening Chip

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The US Department of Agriculture recently determined that Randox Food Diagnostics' kits for screening meat products for the presence of ractopamine conforms with federal standards.

On Dec. 20, 2013, the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service updated its list of approved beta agonist drug screening methods to include Randox's biochip-based ractopamine test as well as its enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay kit for the same purpose.

Ractopamine is administered to livestock to make them leaner and more muscular. While the drug is banned in 160 countries, the US is not among them. However, those US companies that wish to export products to foreign markets must demonstrate that their exports do not contain ractopamine residues.

Such companies can now use Randox's kits to test their products prior to export, according to the Crumlin, UK-based firm.

"Although this is a US accreditation, we know USDA is a reference point for industry standards well beyond American shores, so we expect it to give customers confidence in the quality and reliability of our products on a global basis," Joanne McKnight, Randox Food Diagnostics' meat and seafood business development manager, said in a statement.

Randox Food Diagnostics offers a variety of screening tests based on its biochip array technology (BAT) multi-analyte testing platform. In October, Sądecki Bartnik, a major Polish honey producer, adopted its BAT platform for antibiotic screening. That same month, Randox launched a test for coccidiostats in poultry meat and eggs. And in 2012, it introduced an assay to test livestock for the presence of antiparasitic drugs.

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