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With little regard for the cows or the humans that eventually eat them, the beef industry pumps growth hormones into upwards of 80 percent of beef cattle raised in the U.S. each year. These hormones are intended to boost growth rates and increase body mass--think cows on steroids. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture does not allow producers to treat chickens or pigs with hormones, the agency does permit the practice for cattle and sheep.
In addition to hormones used to increase milk production (see rBGH / rBST), there are six hormones approved for use in beef cattle. Two of these hormones, estradiol and zeranol, are likely to have negative human health effects, including cancer and impacts on child development, when their residues are present in meat. Concerns about these potential health impacts have left many scientists doubtful of the safety of hormone use in meat production.
The negative environmental impact of hormones entering waterways from livestock feedlots also is cause for alarm. Researchers have found that fish can exhibit significant effects from this pollution, e.g., females begin to exhibit male characteristics, and vice versa, in areas of high hormone concentrations.
The European Union has criticized the use of hormones in meat production since the 1980s due to strong concerns about their safety. The EU prohibited the use of hormones for non-therapeutic purposes in 1985, and banned the importation of U.S. beef in 1988 to avoid importing hormone-treated meat. Since then, there has been a heated dispute between the United States and the EU over the ban, and, in a 1999 ruling, the World Trade Organization (WTO) decided in favor of the US. However, in April of that year, the EU's Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health (SCVPH) released a report indicating that the use of the six growth hormones posed a risk to consumers. The EU ban remains in place.
Your Right to Know: Does your Milk have Artificial Hormones?
OR DRINK SOY, RICE, ALMOND AND HEMP MILKS FOR WHICH THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!