Tag Archives: hormone meat


neil.burman@gmail.com 13 June 2010


Friday’s BBC newsbite  is about preteen UK girls’ high meat intake  association with earlier periods and breasts as well as obesity, and thus more infertility- polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS- and breast cancer .  

Is the link directly the increased protein intake? or increased cooked fat intake?  or increasing carbohydrate load due eg to cornstarch stuffing of the food chain? or increasing stress? or the environmental feminization of nature by ubiquitous estrogenic pollution?  

 Or is it due to  anabolic steroids used  used to increase profits, promote fast  livestock growth? Use of the  latter has been banned in Europe for over a decade, but is believed to be still prevalent in Europe in at least 10% of meat production due to difficulty in detection.     

  The FACS paper  on South Africa  anabolic steroid use in meat  dated  2009 – with the   only reference paper from USA  2000 – says “Public concern over the safety of South African meat and meat products which might contain hormones has increased, particularly since the use of hormones in meat production is not permitted in Europe (EU). The fact is, for decades in South Africa, almost all abattoir meat has been produced with the aid of hormones, and it is known to be a completely safe practice.”  

How can FACS – claiming to represent “ the South African National Consumer Union , the Association of Dietetics , the Directorate of Food Control of the Department of Health and professional representatives of other consumer-friendly organisations” support anabolic steroid use in the meat industry as ‘a completely safe practice’?

 A new paper from Europe  confirms the increasing problem of illegal anabolic ‘Hormonal growth promoting agents in food producing animals’  in the meat industry there. 

 The doyen of falling    fertility Professor Nils Skakkebaeck (in print on Pubmed since 1968) last reviewed environmental including hormone  meat contamination  in 2007,  and endocrine disruptors in general  last month,  after Deborah Cadbury’s exhaustive seminal 1997  review of his and others’ infertility work in The Feminization of Nature.  

 Our own andrologist Prof MS Bornman of Pretoria  has done extensive work on infertility and testicular cancer  in northern South Africa, the latest on association with industrial estrogen pollution in game –  eland-  there. 

 The Cancer Prevention Coalition  has recently filed a petition with the USA FDA that  ‘A Ban on Hormonal Meat is Three Decades Overdue’.

 It is just 25 years since Margaret Attwood’s chilling prophetic novel The Handmaiden’s Tale on male infertility in America.     And 15 years since the EU banned growth hormones in the meat industry. The saga is related in detail in Beef Hormone Controversy. which highlights yet again the power of (EU) voters’ voices to force government to act on the public’s  concerns;  whereas 25 years later Canadian and USA Industry still sway their governments to ignore concerns and evidence.

So is the livestock industry in South Africa, Australia, UK -EU  and North America- indeed everywhere-  still feeding us and especially our youth anabolic steroids in meat?   Human greed  knows  no limits.

It is in  the lifespan of some still alive  (from before my father’s birth in 1896) that  the use of commercialized  sex  hormones moved from  rejuvenation  and sexuality to in the past 50 years human birth control,  sex change,  bodybuilding , competitive gamesmanship, and speeding up meat  production. 

 Their increasing use is undoubtedly  contributing to the  feminization of nature, cancer burden,   and extinction of many species.  But perhaps their widespread use in the food chain  will peacefully reduce what some consider a plague, dangerous surfeit  of humans on Earth, if not just softening, more dimorphism- feminization – of male aggression and rapacity. An ironic twist to the age-old practice of male castration.