Hormones in Meat

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Imagine sinking your teeth into a t-bone steak that has come from a steer that was treated with hormones, or enjoying a glass of rBGH treated milk. The steak and milk may not taste any different from the same untreated products, but the hormones they contain could both, directly and indirectly, have an impact on your health. The hormones that farmers in the U.S. administer to the cattle are dangerous and have negative effects on the people and the environment. Although America admits hormone use in cattle, the fact that Europe has banned hormone use raises many questions about the possible health risks these hormones may have on consumers.
America is one of the world’s largest producers of beef. According to Raloff (2002), approximately 36 million beef cattle are raised in America each year, and approximately two-thirds are treated with hormones (para.2). Farmers use these hormones to increase the rate of growth in their cattle. By increasing the cattle’s growth rate, the farmers can produce more beef and still making more money, they can sell it at an inexpensive rate to the consumers. The hormones that may be administered to beef and dairy cattle may already be produced, in small amounts, naturally in their own bodies or synthetic. According to the U.S. Department of Food and Drug Administration (2002), “the accepted naturally occurring hormones that may be administered to beef and milk producing cattle are estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, and the synthetic hormones that are accepted are zeranol, trenbolone acetate, and melengestrol acetate.” None of the hormones listed above are acceptable in the industries in Europe to give for the food and milk productions.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is who the American gov...

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...y cattle are responsible for the largest amount of manure production amongst farm animals (see Table 1) (para. ).
In a study conducted by Louis J. Guillette Jr. of the University of Florida and Ana M. Soto of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, hormonal activity of water from sites located both upstream and downstream of feedlots in Nebraska were tested by adding the water samples to cells that “react in various ways to hormonal steroids” (Raloff, 2002, para 17-18). The study (as cited in Raloff) found that:
Concentrations of estrogenic pollutants at two of the downstream sites were sometimes almost double those at the upstream site. And water from all three downstream sites was significantly more androgenic than the samples collected upstream. One downstream sample exhibited nearly four times the androgenicity of the upstream water (para. 19).
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