For example, a Reuters investigation in found that 15 cattle that had been fed a growth stimulant called Zilmax were found mangled and barely able to walk on their way to slaughter at a Tyson Foods processing facility. Tyson Foods told Reuters at the time that it didn't know what had happened to the cattle, but that the company would not accept cattle raised on Zilmax, which is produced by pharmaceutical giant Merck, until further review.
Merck pulled Zilmax from US and Canadian markets following the initial reports of cattle deformities, later stating on its website in November that Zilmax "is safe when used according to the product label and in conjunction with sound animal husbandry practices. A March study , however, which examined hundreds of thousands of cattle, found that those fed Zilmax had a much higher risk of dying than those not exposed.
This may be just one case of the many hidden costs of cheap meat. With demand only increasing , farmers must find ways to produce beef quickly and without breaking the bank. Often this means pumping cattle full of growth-promoting hormones and antibiotics to meet their bottom line.
And while you're perusing the meat aisle, here's a tip for buying chicken or pork: Ignore the "hormone free" advertisement on the labels. It's illegal to add hormones to poultry and pigs grown and sold in the US, so you can rest assured that these two types of meat are always hormone-free, no matter what the package says.
World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Get the Insider App. Click here to learn more. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. Good Subscriber Account active since Shortcuts. Account icon An icon in the shape of a person's head and shoulders. It often indicates a user profile. Log out. Insider events. Pitch deck library.
Salary database. The Inside Story. Corporate org charts. Newsletter preferences. Premium articles. In the past widespread use was made of cheap synthetic estrogens such as diethylstilbestrol and hexestrol. However, new legislation in certain countries has restricted the use of synthetic estrogens. This has resulted in an intensive search by industry for alternative agents.
On the one hand natural steroid hormones like estradiol, testosterone and progesterone were studied, while on the other hand products like an active compound of the resorcyclic acid lactones and the synthetic anabolic steroid trenbolone acetate were developed. Administration of anabolic agents to cattle is done in three ways. If the agent is metabolised in the rumen, oral administration may still be possible by using coated materials which avoid rumen metabolism with subsequent absorption of the steroid from the small intestine.
This latter method is often impractical. Anabolic agents are normally administered to beef cattle or culled dairy cows during the last few months of the finishing period. Maximum weight gain performance in different types of cattle requires selection of the correct anabolic agent. Increased performance in female cattle is better when an androgenic steroid is administered. However, in intact males bulls best performance is only obtained when an estrogen, alone or in combination with an androgen, is administered.
Castrate animals steers do best if a smaller amount of estrogen is combined with an androgen and administered, however there is evidence that androgen alone is as effective. In summary therefore, an additional response in growth of cattle may require the presence of an estrogen, as endogenous estrogen in the female and the exogenous form in the male.