7:00 PM, Aug 8, 2013 | 3 comments
KUSA – One of the country’s largest beef processors says it will no longer buy cattle with a supplement called Zilmax. It’s a move that could send beef prices higher.
Beef prices were already rising because ranchers sold off a lot of cattle during last year’s dry weather.
That has left cattle populations at their lowest level since 1952.
The Wall street Journal reports cattle futures surged on news that Tyson Foods will stop accepting cattle fed with Zilmax starting next month.
Zilmax is a "beta-agonist." It produces lean muscle in cattle and hogs instead of fat.
Without it, some experts say it’ll take more corn to feed cattle to produce the same amount of beef.
Tyson says the decision had nothing to do with food safety but animal welfare concerns. Tyson says some animals recently arrived at processing centers that couldn’t move.
"I think it’s absolutely great news. It’s great news for our beef industry, because Zilmax not only is detrimental from an animal welfare perspective, but it also lowers meat quality," said Mike Callicrate, a Colorado Springs rancher and animal welfare activist.
He applauds Tyson’s decision and says he hopes other beef processors will follow suit.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)