Eating beef, juicy, tender and tasty is a joy for carnivores the world over but sadly there is a two out of three chance you are getting far more than meat and micronutrients.
In 1998 the European Union banned the use of hormones in beef cattle production. The Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Related to Public Health identified six hormones, three natural and three synthetic that pose a threat to human health.
The natural hormones are:
The synthetic hormones are:
Although concern has arisen over the use of these hormones in beef cattle the USA and Canada has continued to use them.
The scientists have issues regarding the residual amount of hormones left in the meat at the point of consumption. These hormones have been implicated in not only the early onset of puberty, particularly in girls, but an increase in levels of breast, prostrate and colon cancers, and in disruption of the reproductive cycle in women of all ages.
Manure produced by growth enhanced cattle contaminates the ground surface and groundwater and this can lead into runoff into, streams, rivers and ultimately the ocean.
Aquatic ecosystems have proved very vulnerable to hormone exposure and such exposure has been shown to affect the gender of fish produced and their reproductive capacity.
It is estimated that of the 35,000,000 beef cattle slaughtered in the United States each year 2/3 of them have been injected with growth hormones to make them grow faster.
In addition, rBGH – recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone is used by many dairy farmers to increase milk production. This hormone is also called Somatatrophin, and it varies from the natural Somatatrophin present in the cow by one amino acid. It is this that has an affect on another hormone within the cow IGF1 and it is the raised IGF1 that stimulates the cow to produce more milk. Although no human issues have been found from rBGH increased IGH1 levels have been linked to prostrate, breast and colo-rectal cancers.
A major issue of giving cows artificial Somatatrophin is that they develope more udder infections, which are treated with antibiotics. Antibiotic resistant bacteria could become a problem, and in turn the worry is that these bacteria may survive pasteurisation and be passed to humans in the milk they drink.
It’s no wonder that organic farming, particularly that of animals produced for food, is the fastest growing sector of US agriculture.
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Contributed by Lizzie Bennett of Underground Medic.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Underground Medic on the topic of preparedness.