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food additives
genetic manipulation
feed lot
detoxing
progesterone
hormones
implants
crops
Steroid Hormone Implants – Can This Be Good For Consumers
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Steroid Hormone Implants – Can This Be Good for Consumers

In light of the articles I have recently read on Street Articles, written by knowledgeable authors, about food additives, cancer, detoxing, and genetic manipulation of crops, I write this article. When farming, I became aware of a practice undertaken in the area, hormone implants in cattle and sheep. It encouraged me to investigate the subject, which I did.

In the 50's, the FDA approved the practice of implanting cattle and sheep, with certain hormones. These include, and I quote “natural estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and their synthetic versions”. It use, to enhance the growth rate of the recipient, to improve their ability to convert their feed intake into meat and to make their meat more lean (no fat build up). What does this all mean? A hormone treated calf becomes marketable faster than one not treated. Is this good for the consumers of the meat? Yes, according to the FDA, these are hormones naturally produced by humans and animals, and when the meat reaches the market, these levels will be acceptably low to meet their approval.

The implants are in the form of pellets, inserted under the skin in the ear of the recipient. As the ear, discarded when the animal slaughtered, no excessive remaining hormones, supposedly, will not reach the consumer. The internet was not yet discovered when this received approval, and research limited to articles written by experts. These experts could have been on the pay roll of the companies producing the pellets, and all articles expounded their helpful use.

I decided to visit a farm with a small feed lot that used this enhancer to see for myself the results. I found oxen at a young age, displaying advanced stages of growth, ready for market, that my own would need months to reach. This seemed the answer, I needed to carry out this practice on the few head I had. When inquiring of the cost I realised I could not afford it. The owner intended to inject a number that day so I remained to see the application. What I saw then, and what I read now, do not match. The implants, placed in a vein in the neck of the calf and not in the ear. At the time I never queried this as I knew no better, but it now worries me on how many use this method today. It is impossible for inspectors to attend all applications, or for all the slaughtered meat checked, my question, how many follow this method and is this not endangering consumers?

My concern being the following, estrogen, an unwanted hormone for women with breast cancer. My wife on a hormone block treatment, evidence of this. She's, required to take this block for five years, must suffer the side effects associated with this drug, to make sure that hormones like estrogen are not produced in the body. Yet for all we are aware, her intake from the very meat we eat, almost as a daily diet, could be increasing the same hormones unwanted. What of the person prone to breast cancer, unaware of her possible development of the disease? Is she assisting the cancer by increasing estrogen levels because of the intake from her diet?

How confident can one be of the safe practices applied by the producer of the meat that reaches your table. Are we assured that the animal was correctly handled when injected, in the ear, not into a vein in the neck? The meat on your plate, is it not excessively high in hormones because of misplacement of a pellet? All unknowns that we do not think about when enjoying the meal. I am not adverse to the rancher using all possible means to make a profit, what I am querying, is how much later research, studied on the adverse effects of long-term consumption of these extra hormones? Have the cancer research stations, seeking a cure, considered this as a cause?

Genetically changed food, colourants, hormonal implants, all used to increase the profits made by producers, will never disappear entirely from the shelves and fridges of super stores. The adverse effects on the consumers, in the long-term, not investigated. Yet the saying “eat to live, not live to eat” takes on a new meaning entirely.

Food for thought. (sorry for the pun.)


Street Talk

Great article Rob. I agree we won't be sure that the hormone pellet placement was done correctly and we the consumer can suffer without even knowing it. There are so many uncertainties regarding the food we eat that it is certainly an uphill challenge but one that we must make together. Creating more awareness such as writing your article helps people think more about these important issues

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks again Jay how right you are, if people would only ask questions of suppliers, let them know we are aware of what is happening, things might change.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
AJ  

Wow. I learned some important and scary information from your article Rob, thank you. Organic beef may be the answer, but it is so expensive. I'm glad we eat more chicken than beef, but there are issues being reported with antibiotics being fed to chickens / turkeys being the cause of our super bugs in humans. Ultimately, I think there is just too many people messing with the food chain.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

As I mentioned below, I do not advocate "you must go organic" but the worries of what is being done within the production and marketing of food today is scary, and my main concern is for those susceptible. Big business could be responsible for so many differing illnesses today, that is why authors like you advocating careful planning and dieting are so good for the general health of people, keep it up.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
AJ  

Thanks, Rob. Your concerns are valid. We don't know what genetically modified foods will do to our bodies and I'm learning that more food than I realized are genetically modified: fruits, vegetables, meat. I don't know what is safe to eat anymore.

  
  about 8 years ago
Kyle  

Very interesting article Rob. I think that as we evolve, we are becoming bigger and bigger (in terms of stature) as a culture because of these hormonal education. This leads me to pose the question, are your kids at a disadvantage if they eat organic meats and are not subjected to this hormonal expedition?

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Kyle I am not an advocator of "you must go organic" but does it not just sound safer, would you not be healthier? Unfortunately, going organic in this country is expensive, I just ponder the point, if you are susceptible to cancer do all these genetic manipulations and hormonal applications not put you at a higher risk? Should some of the money being used to search for a cure, not be spent in looking for the cause?

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Kyle  

Yeah, I do agree with you. Organic is very expensive and often times it is hard to get what you are looking for. Most people cannot afford to double their grocery bill! I do buy organic when it is convenient to do so, however sometimes I am not sure how "organic" things really are and how stringent these classifications are. In an ideal world, I suppose we would all have our own gardens...

  
  about 8 years ago
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