Hormones in Our Agricultural Food and the Term Paper

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hormones in our agricultural food and the adverse effects it has on the animals and the human consumers. The writer provides an outline of the effect the hormones have both physically and politically on the consumer and the nation's that support the use of hormones. The writer also presents evidence of the health problems hormones are thought to cause as well. There were four sources used to complete this paper.

As the world becomes more crowded the demand for fast growing resources including food increase. The use of growth hormone in cattle has sparked a worldwide controversy as several nation's wrestle with trade organizations mandates against what they believe the hormone treated cows can cause by way of health problems.

The most common hormone used today in the cow industry is Bovine Growth Hormone, which is also referred to as BGH. This hormone is a genetically engineered hormone. It is administered through the use of injections and the injections are given to dairy cows. This is so that the dairy cows would increase their milk production because of the way the hormone speeds that process (History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm).The use of this hormone was approved for use in the United States but had not been approved for use in Europe or Canada. This sparked a worldwide controversy in the export of product from the U.S. that had been treated with the injected hormone. England threatened a full ban on beef and dairy products coming into its nation from the United States with any product that proved to have residual growth hormone detected in it during random testing. The U.S. answered by complaining to the World Trade Organization which is charged with mandating the disagreements between its members. England pointed to a previous study indicating that the hormone caused cancer in rats. The study extrapolated according to the English into having the same effect on cows (History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm).

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved BGH for use in dairy cows in 1993. The approval process was riddled with conflicts of interest, however, as some former Monsanto employees who went to work for the FDA, oversaw the approval process and then went back to work for Monsanto. Although Monsanto claims that BGH is one of the most thoroughly examined drugs in U.S. history, BGH was never tested in the long-term for (chronic) human health effects. It is a generally accepted principle in science that two years of testing is the minimal time for long-term health studies. BGH was tested for only 90 days on 30 rats (History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm).This short-term rat study was submitted to the FDA but was never published. The FDA refused to allow anyone outside the administration to review the raw data from this study, saying that this would "irreparably harm" Monsanto. Monsanto has continued to refuse to allow open scientific peer review of the 90-day study (History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm).This linchpin study of cancer and BGH has never been subjected to scrutiny by the American or international scientific community (History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm)."

Canada joined England in a rare move against the U.S. use of the hormone and sent a stern letter from its Health department in 1998 alleging there has been to little known about the long-term affects (History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm).

Monsanto's secret was safe when the FDA published scientific data about rBGH before it approved the drug for use in the United States. In the August 24, 1990 edition of the prestigious journal Science, the FDA said the results of all studies were negative - that is, there were no harmful affect. (Judith C. Juskevich and C. Greg Guyer, Bovine Growth Hormone: Human Food Safety Evaluation, Science, Vol. 249, August, 24, 1990, pp.875-884) The scientific paper, with Monsanto's permission, did refer to the 90-day study. No mention was made of antibodies and lesions (History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm).In fact, in scientific terms, the FDA declared that "oral toxicity studies have demonstrated that BGH is not orally active in rats." In layman's terms that means that the drug had no affect on the rats that consumed it. Obviously, this statement is blatantly false (History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm)."

Some scientists believe that the use of BGH increases levels of IGF-1 and that is not destroyed in the pasteurizing process and is instead transferred to the humans who consume the product. Those who are…

Sources Used in Document:


Hormones spark meaty debate Jul. 23, 2001


Provided by: Sun Media Written by: Marilyn Linton (accessed 5-4-2003)

Beef Hormones Linked to Premature Onset of Puberty & Breast Cancer

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