The Controversy Over Added Hormones in Meat and Dairy
Hormones and Steroids Used in Cattle
- Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH)— to promote milk production (may also see it as bovine somatotropin [BST])
- Estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone—steroid hormones added to promote growth and production.
- Natural steroids like estradiol, testosterone, and progesterone
- Man-mad steroids from compounds
Battle Lines are Drawn
Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)
Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1)
General Additive Concerns
An Ongoing Battle
- Buy certified organic meat and meat products—Organic animals can only be fed 100% organic feed and cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones. It is also safe to buy imported European meat products, as added growth hormones are banned in the EU.
- Buy rBGH-free or certified organic milk and dairy products—Organic dairy farms do not allow the use of rBGH, and other companies that do not use rBGH often include this information on the label. It is also safe to buy imported European and Canadian cheeses and other dairy products, as rBGH is banned in these countries.
The Organic Farming Research Foundation http://www.ofrf.org
US Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Andersson AM, Skakkeback, NE. Exposure to exogenous estrogens in food: possible impact on human development and health. EurJ Endocrinol. 1999;140(6):477-485.
Bovine somatotropin (BST). US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm055435.htm. Updated July 28, 2014. Accessed October 21, 2014.
Health concerns about dairy products. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website. Available at: http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/health-concerns-about-dairy-products. Accessed on October 21, 2014.
Growth Hormones Fed to Beef Cattle Damage Human Health. Organic Consumers Association website. Available at: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article%5F5543.cfm. Accessed October 21, 2014.
rBGH. Grace Communications Foundation website. Available at: http://www.sustainabletable.org/797/rbgh. Accessed October 21, 2014.
Recombinant bovine growth hormone. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/recombinant-bovine-growth-hormone. Updated February 18, 2011. Accessed October 21, 2014.
Vitale DC, Piazza C, Melilli B. Isoflavones: estrogenic activity, biological effect and bioavailability. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2012;28(1):15-25.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2014 -
- Update Date: 10/21/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing
All rights reserved.