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Is It Ethical To Use Growth Hormones On Cattle?

2599 words - 11 pages

A growing issue in the world today is the use of antibiotics and growth hormones in animal production industry. However, for over sixty years Americans have been exposed to hormones on a regular basic when they consume beef. (1) On average eighty percent of all feedlot cattle are given hormones to help them grow at an increased rate. (2) “In 1988 the European Union banned the use of all hormone growth promoters.” (1)
Today farmers use six anabolic steroids in various combinations. “Those anabolic steroids are osetradiol, progesterone, testosterone, zeranol, trenbolone, and melengestrol.” (2) There are three natural steroids that are used as well. The natural steroids are estradiol, testosterone, and progesterone. Also used are three synthetic hormones which include estrogen compound zeranol, andgrogen trenbolone acetate, and progestin melengestrol acetate. (1) However, when hormones are given to cattle some of the naturally occurring hormone levels could go up seven to twenty times the normal level. Scientists have growing concerns about the use of the hormones.
The scientists are concerned with the hormones use and their impact of the environment. The scientists are concerned with the hormones being excreted in the manure. The scientists say, that the hormones that are going into the can be found in the soil and the water supply. The scientists also say that the hormones being used are affecting human development through the human reproductive system.
“High levels of hormones can cause problems in the human body, but can hormones we ingest really alter our hormone levels.” (3) There are studies that show mothers that consumed meat while pregnant have sons with affected sperm counts. The sperm concentration of sons born to mothers with low beef consumption was 24.3 higher than mother with high beef consumption. Eighteen percent the sons born to mothers in high beef consuming group had a sperm concentration below___. (1) However, even with all the scientists concerns and studies, the United States, backed by the world trade organization still allow the use of growth promoting hormones in cattle.
There are two types of hormones direct and indirect. “Direct hormones reduced glucose transport and metabolism, increased lipoysis, increased amino acid transport, increased protein synthesis, and increased insulin-like growth factor –I (IGF-I) production. Indirect hormones help promotion of growth and endocrine effects, reduction in insulin receptors, e.g. in liver, localized decreased in adipose tissue: free fatty acids released, which provides and energy source for muscles, and increase in both transcription and translation from the liver and other tissues.” (Principles of animal growth and development)
The insulin-like growth factor family is a highly complex group which contains insulin-like growth factor-I and I insulin-like growth factor receptor. The insulin-like growth factor is named the way they are because of their insulin-like...

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