Meat And Fish Products:
Every year, approximately 36 million cattle are raised to provide beef for US consumers. Two thirds of these cattle (about 24 million cows) are given hormones to help make them grow faster. Although the USDA and FDA claim that the hormones are safe, there is growing concern that hormone residues in meat and in cow manure might be harmful to human health and the environment.
According to expert scientists appointed by the European Union, the use of growth hormones in food animals poses a potential risk to consumers' health. The scientists reported that hormone residues found in meat from these animals can disrupt the consumer's hormone balance, cause developmental problems, interfere with the reproductive system, and even lead to the development of cancer. Children and pregnant women are most susceptible to these negative health effects.
Hormone residues in beef are also thought to cause the early onset of puberty in girls. This puts girls at greater risk of developing breast cancer and other forms of cancer.
As a result of these health risks, the European Union has banned the use of growth hormones in cattle and has prohibited the import of hormone treated beef since 1988. However, despite scientific concern, the United States and Canada continue to allow cattle to be given six hormones - three naturally occurring and three synthetic (man made).
Scientists are also concerned about the environmental impacts of hormone residues that are found in cow manure. When manure is excreted, these hormones can contaminate surface and groundwater, thereby harming local ecosystems. Aquatic ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of hormone residues; recent studies have demonstrated that exposure to hormones has a substantial effect on the reproductive capacity and egg production of fish.
Growth Hormone - rBGH
The US allows dairy cows to be injected with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a genetically-engineered hormone used only to increase milk production.
- According to the Cattlemen's Beef Association, 90% of all U.S. feedlot cattle are hormone implanted.
- A study of cows treated with melengestrol acetate (one of the artificial growth hormones approved for use in the U.S.) revealed that 12% of the hormone passed directly through the cows into their manure.
- According to the Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Relating to Public Health (SCVPH) appointed by the European Commission, "The potential adverse effects on human health from residues in bovine meat and meat products include endocrine, developmental and neurobiological, immunological as well as carcinogenic, genotoxic and immunotoxicological effects".
By law, hormones cannot be given to poultry and hogs. But animals can be fed growth enhancers and feed additives in order to make the poultry grow faster. These additives are not considered hormones, but there is concern that they might affect human health. It is best to find farmers who do not feed their animals any hormones, growth enhancers or any type of chemical feed additives.
You also might want to ask if animal protein was fed as an additive or as part of their diet. What you are concerned about is if any of the animal protein fed to poultry or hogs contains hormones. If a chicken, turkey or pig is fed beef or a beef byproduct, that beef could conceivably contain hormones. This is one way hormones are thought to be getting into the poultry supply. It is uncertain whether this type of hormone transmission is affecting human health, so you must decide whether or not this is important to you.
Bacon in the morning may still smell great, but eating pork raises concerns about more than just the impact of all that fat and cholesterol on your arteries. Recent research indicates the "other white meat" is a passageway for a number of serious illnesses, which can jump from animals to human hosts. And the intensive, factory farm conditions by which most pigs are raised increases the risk and acts as an incubator for bacteria. There's also proof, for the first time, that using antibiotics to treat pigs can lead to outbreaks of dangerous human diseases like salmonella.
Scientists say there is a link between swine and the spread of influenza (flu), which kills about 20,000 people in the U.S. annually. Pigs pick up the flu virus from wild aquatic birds, and pass it on to humans when they eat their breakfast sausages or ham sandwich.
The poultry industry has quietly begun to bow to the demands of public health and consumer groups by greatly reducing the antibiotics that are fed to healthy chickens.
Long a mainstay of poultry farming, antibiotics have been justified as a means of preventing infection in chickens as well as enhancing growth. Opponents have bitterly criticized the industry for a strategy that they say contributes to a much larger public health problem: the growing resistance to antibiotics of disease-causing bacteria in humans.
Now it appears that with little fanfare, the industry has begun to acquiesce. Three companies, Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms and Foster Farms, which produce a third of the chicken consumed by Americans each year -- say they have voluntarily taken most or all of the antibiotics out of what they feed healthy chickens. In addition, the industry is turning away from an antibiotic used to treat sick birds because it is related to Cipro, the drug used to treat anthrax in humans. Some corporate consumers, including McDonald's, Wendy's and Popeye's, are now refusing to buy chicken that has been treated with it.
But despite the overall decrease in antibiotic use, there is no way for the consumer to know whether one of these companies' chickens has been treated with antiobiotics. This is especially true of drugs used to treat sick chickens, like the Cipro-related antibiotic. Treating a few sick birds requires treating the entire flock, and flocks often number more than 30,000. The only way for consumers to be certain the chickens they buy have not been treated with antibiotics is to purchase those labeled antibiotic-free, or organic.
Most large fish are very high in mercury and consumption should be limited or avoided. See the list of fish below:
|Crawfish/Crayfish||Croaker (Atlantic)||Flounder*||Haddock (Atlantic)*||Hake|
|Herring||Mackerel (N. Atlantic, Chub)||Mullet||Oyster||Perch (Ocean)|
|Plaice||Pollock||Salmon (Canned)**||Salmon (Fresh)**||Sardine|
|Scallop*||Shad (American)||Shrimp*||Sole (Pacific)||Squid (Calamari)|
|Bass (Striped, Black)||Carp||Cod (Alaskan)*||Croaker (White Pacific)|
|Halibut (Atlantic)*||Halibut (Pacific)||Jacksmelt (Silverside)||Lobster|
|Mahi Mahi||Monkfish*||Perch (Freshwater)||Sablefish|
|Skate*||Snapper*||Tuna (Canned Chunk Light)||Tuna (Skipjack)*|
|Weakfish (Sea Trout)|
|Bluefish||Grouper*||Mackerel (Spanish, Gulf)||Sea Bass (Chilean)*||Tuna (Canned Albacore)|
|Mackerel (King)||Marlin*||Orange Roughy*||Shark*||Swordfish*|
|Tilefish*||Tuna (Bigeye, Ahi)*|
* Fish in Trouble! These fish are perilously low in numbers or are caught using environmentally destructive methods. To learn more, see the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Blue Ocean Institute, both of which provide guides to fish to enjoy or avoid on the basis of environmental factors.
** Farmed Salmon may contain PCB's, chemicals with serious long-term health effects.
Sources for NRDC's guide: The data for this guide to mercury in fish comes from two federal agencies: the Food and Drug Administration, which tests fish for mercury, and the Environmental Protection Agency, which determines mercury levels that it considers safe for women of childbearing age.
About the mercury-level categories: The categories on the list (least mercury to highest mercury) are determined according to the following mercury levels in the flesh of tested fish.
- Least Mercury: Less than 0.09 parts per million
- Moderate mercury: From 0.09 to 0.29 parts per million
- High mercury: From 0.3 to 0.49 parts per million
- Highest mercury: More than .5 parts per million
For Nutritional Information:
For Free Range Grass Fed Bison, Beef, Lamb, Chicken, Turkey, Butter And Cheese - Click The Link Below:
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