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Clenbuterol, a fat-burning drug that is used as a feed additive in pigs and other animals, returned to the spotlight in recent months with a new ban in China, an outbreak in Mexico, and possible contamination from meat purchased in Spain that caused the temporary suspension of a world champion cyclist.

Used to produce leaner or higher muscle-to-fat ratio in meat products, Clenbuterol has been banned in meat in the U.S. since 1991 and in the EU since 1996 because of health concerns including increased heart rate, muscular tremors, headache, nausea, fever and chills. In most cases these symptoms are reversible.1

SGS laboratories can perform testing for Clenbuterol by various methods GC/MS, LC-MS/MS and ELISA methods at a level <1 part per billion (ppb) or lower. For more details on SGS Food services visit the SGS Food Safety webpage.

James Cook
Food Safety Technologist

SGS – North America
t: +1 973 575 5252

1 USDA FSIS Backgrounders on Clenbuterol


SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.