Term Paper: Hormones in Our Agricultural Food

Pages: 4 (1467 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Agriculture  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] The company that manufactures the product insists that the IGF-1 levels are not in any way elevated through its use in bovine (History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm).However this claim is in direct opposition to the company's own study. "In a published letter, the British researcher T.B. Mepham reminded Monsanto that in its 1993 application to the British government for permission to sell BGH, Monsanto itself reported that "the IGF-1 level went up substantially [about five times as much." The FDA acknowledges that IGF-1 is elevated in milk from BGH-treated cows (History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm).Other proponents of BGH acknowledge that it at least doubles the amount of IGF-1 hormone in the milk. The earliest report in this literature found that IGF-1 was elevated in the milk of BGH-treated cows by a factor of 3.6(History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm)."

Later studies proved that white men who have elevated levels of IGF-1 in their system have a higher risk and incidence of prostrate cancer. In addition studies also concluded that the breast cancer in women may be increased due to an increase in levels of IGF-1. There has also been speculation that increased IGF-1 can promote higher risk for colon cancer (History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm).

Though Monsanto denies the connection as anything but a management problem, the product label itself lists more than 20 serious side-effects associated with its use. The most serious side-effect is an increased risk of mastitis; a painful udder infection. Monsanto's own data shows a startling 79% increase in mastitis. Farmer's resort to intensive antibiotic treatments to control these infections. Scientists have raised concerns regarding the probable development of human antibiotic resistance resulting from increased exposure to antibiotics in food (History of Monsanto (http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm)."

The political ramifications of this topic are far reaching indeed. Canadian scientists who have concerns about the safety of eating hormone treated products were silenced by their government health department officials (Public, 1998).

Those who downplay the concern about hormone fed cattle point to the belief that humans already produce as much or more natural growth hormone themselves. Those who are concerned with hormone treated cattle believe it is a different dynamic (Hormones spark meaty debate Jul. 23, 2001 http://chealth.canoe.ca/columns.asp?columnistid=7&articleid=1664

Provided by: Sun Media Written by: Marilyn Linton).

Consumption of hormone-treated beef may be causing girls to reach puberty earlier than they used to and making them more susceptible to breast cancer, say researchers attending a world conference on breast cancer (Beef Hormones Linked to Premature Onset of Puberty & Breast Cancer (http://www.organicconsumers.org/Toxic/hormoncancer.cfm)."


As the world continues to grow, the need for food and dairy products increases as well. Using hormones to increase production of product initially seemed to be a good solution but as studies were conducted it became evident that there were possible problems and risks. The nations of Europe as well as Canada became concerned about the health risks involved with the U.S. use of hormones in bovine. Because of the contradictions in opinions and study results it would behoove the nation to hold off on the use of hormone in cattle until the questions can be answered satisfactorily.


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

Research links breast cancer, beef hormones. By Dennis Bueckert / The Canadian Press

http://www.organicconsumers.org/Toxic/hormoncancer.cfm (accessed5-4-2003)

Business: The Economy Battle over beef hormones (accessed 5-4-2003)


History of Monsanto (accessed 5-4-2003)

http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/genetic/bghback.htm [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Hormones in Our Agricultural Food."  Essaytown.com.  May 4, 2003.  Accessed July 24, 2019.