Hormones in Milk and Beef Production: Are They Safe?
7/5/2011 5:57 AM
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When you buy a gallon of milk or a package of hamburger, do you give a thought to hormones that beef and milk cattle may have been given on the farm? My most recent Special Report article delves into the debate that has been going on for years over whether hormones that promote tissue growth or milk production in these animals are harmful to human health.
To some environmental and consumer advocates, the questions have never been adequately resolved. They fear synthetic hormones in cattle may lead to a number of unintended effects ranging from antibiotic resistance to reproductive abnormalities in people. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and many scientists say there’s no evidence of a problem. Some experts further believe that use of such biotechnologies will become increasingly important for food production as the world’s population grows.
Take a look at my report and share your thoughts. When foods that some think may be harmful are also staples, they’re tough to avoid—unless you spend more money to buy organic products or those specifically raised and marketed as hormone-free. Do you feel the added cost is worth it? Have these issues influenced your decisions at the grocery store—or perhaps even led you to a vegetarian or vegan diet? Or do you feel production-enhancing hormones are nothing to worry about?