Hormone Use In Poultry Production Poses A Health Risk To Consumers
Federal law prohibits the use of hormones in poultry production. This is clearly stated on package labels when a “no added hormone” claim is made. Polling data showed that many consumers were confused about when hormones were used in livestock and poultry production and about their safety. It is important to understand that all multi-cellular organisms contain hormones, whether they are beef, broccoli, eggs, soybeans — or people. No food or living thing can be “hormone-free,” despite marketing claims that may suggest this to be so. Livestock and poultry can be grown without added hormones, but they cannot be hormone-free.
In the case of poultry, bird size has increased significantly over the last several decades. This is due to advances in breeding, animal nutrition and animal care that ensure that only the heartiest birds with the greatest potential to yield the most food are produced. Just as a citrus farmer strives to plant trees that will yield the most fruit, poultry producers also breed the birds that yield the most meat. This environmentally beneficial practice requires fewer birds, less animal feed and, in turn, less waste to produce the same amount of meat and poultry. It is also more economically sustainable for the farmer, which translates to affordable food for consumers.
Feeding Cattle Corn Is Unnatural
Feeding corn to cattle is natural. Some people mistakenly believe that corn or grain-fed cattle never eat grass. That’s just not true. Nearly all cattle eat grass for most of their lives. Some cattle have their diets enhanced with corn and grain for the last few months of their lives. This is typically done in feedlots, but may happen on ranches, too.
Cattle enjoy corn and benefit from its nutrition. While some proponents of grass feeding only claim that cattle should not eat corn, they neglect to mention that corn is the seed of a grass. When placed in a pen with a choice of consuming grass or a corn or grain based feed, cattle will always choose to consume corn. Remember, also, that when cattle are “finished” in feedlots, their diets are carefully supervised and monitored by expert bovine nutritionists to ensure that they are completely balanced, which maximizes health and growth. Cattle raised on pasture alone consume what they choose and these diets are more difficult to control and can be nutritionally less complete for the animal.