The survey showed that more that half of moms agree it is important to feed their families hormone-free poultry and pork, even though it may cost more to do so.
Well, first of all, federal regulations only allow the use of hormones on cattle and sheep. So if you see chicken or pork in the store that is labeled “Hormone Free”, it’s just a marketing ploy as ALL chicken and pork are hormone free.
As far as beef goes, some farmers and ranchers choose to use growth hormones on their cattle to help them convert their feed into lean muscle more efficiently. America is demanding leaner cuts of beef and this is one innovative way to produce it.
Growth hormones have been used for nearly 60 years and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require vigorous science testing to make sure that the technology is safe for the cattle and humans. “Extensive research shows that growth promotants are metabolized before the animal enters the food supply,” according to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Scientific studies show, and the government’s animal drug approval and monitoring process ensures, there is no difference in the safety of beef from animals that have been treated with growth hormones and those that have not.”
A growth promotant is typically a small pellet that is placed under the skin on the back of an animal’s ear. It slowly releases tiny amounts of hormone and safely dissolves after the treatment is completed. An animal has to go through a withdrawal period after the growth hormone is out of its system before it can enter the food system.
According to the Beef Myths website, “One serving of beef from a steer implanted with a growth promotant has nearly 20 times less estrogen than what the FDA permits and thousands of times less than what our bodies naturally produce, not to mention a fraction of what is present in many other foods such as soybean oil, cabbage and grains.” You can see in the chart below the amounts of estrogen in beef (implanted and non-implanted), milk, some vegetables and also in children and adults. As you can see the amounts of hormones in beef is very, very minuscule.