Mary Kraft

Hormones in Meat and Milk

Mary Kraft, a dairy farmer from Fort Morgan, Colorado, is involved in every aspect of her large, family-owned operation. In this video, she explains hormone use in milk production and why she feels confident that the milk we all drink is safe and healthy.

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What Hormones Do Farmers Give to Livestock, and Why?

Growth hormones are sometimes used in beef and dairy production to safely increase milk output per cow and produce leaner meat products more efficiently.1

Bovine somatotropin (BST) is as a protein hormone that is produced naturally by cows to help them make milk. A minority of dairy farmers – about 15 percent of farms – use small amounts of synthetic BST to increase the milk production of their cows. The American Medical Association has said BST does not harm cows or alter the nutritional value of the milk. 2

Federal regulations prohibit farmers from giving hormones to chickens and hogs, so there are no added hormones in chicken or pork products.3

  1. http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm055436.htm
  2. http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/footer/FAQ/food_safety/MilkandHormonesFactSheetAugust2008.pdf
  3. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/food-labeling/meat-and-poultry-labeling-terms

 

Are Hormones in Milk Dangerous to Human Health?

The FDA conducts food-safety evaluations to ensure milk from hormone-treated cows is safe for human consumption. Pasteurization destroys 90 percent of hormones in milk, and the FDA has found no difference between the milk produced by hormone-treated cows compared with untreated cows. 1

http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/footer/FAQ/food_safety/FoodSafetyFactSheetPDF.pdf

Are Hormones in Farmed Meat Dangerous to Human Health?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), residue levels of hormones in food are well below any level that would have an effect in humans. Scientists all over the world have studied agricultural hormone use and determined that it is safe. 1

The Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Food Issues, has confirmed that 1 pound of farmed beef from cattle given the common hormone estradiol contains 15,000 times less estradiol than the estrogen produced by the average man in one day. 2

  1. http://www.beef.org/uDocs/Growth%20promotants%20fact%20sheet%20FINAL_4%2026%2006.pdf
  2. http://www.sustainablebeef.org/_assets/SBRC-Environmental-Benefits.pdf

Do Hormones in Meat and Dairy Products Cause Early Puberty?

Girls enter puberty today at younger ages than they did 30 years ago, but the reasons why remain unclear. 1

Some scientists believe that childhood obesity may lead to earlier onset of puberty. But no research shows that milk or dairy products play a role in early puberty. In fact, girls today drink less milk than their mothers did. 1

  1. http://www.healthyeating.org/Milk-Dairy/Milk-Myth-Busters/Article-Viewer/Article/28/milk-myth-1-drinking-milk-causes-early-puberty.aspx

Do Hormones Cause Larger Breasts in Chickens?

Federal regulations allow hormones to be used on cattle and sheep, but not on poultry or hogs, so there are no added hormones in chicken.1 The increased size of chicken breasts is a result of advancements in genetics, feed and other production practices. 2

  1. http://www.meatpoultrynutrition.org/ht/d/Faqs/pid/26093
  2. https://www.uaex.edu/publications/PDF/FSA-8007.pdf