What’s the Beef with Hormones?

By now most everyone has heard about hormones used in the beef industry. Producers have been using these hormones since the 50’s to grow cattle faster and larger for market. This went on fine for years until the  European Union (EU) had decided to not allow beef treated with hormones to be imported into their countries. This started to have consumers in the US questioning why they would do this, asking themselves “are hormones dangerous? ” This lead to blogs, articles and other forms of media attacking the beef industry asking for “safer” meat or abandoning the products all together.

These opinions sprouted new products and labels that would include hormone free beef, organic and grass fed. These labels although seemingly harmless furthered the scare of hormones and had people questioning the very food they eat. It has since been a big issue to have hormones in your meat even though you can find as much if not more hormones in such foods as vegetables. As shown by the figure bellow. As you can see from the graph estrogen one of the hormones used in raising cattle does not even show up  in the end product of beef  in much lower levels than in things like soybean oil.

Screen-Shot-2014-08-04-at-10.27.38It is studies like these in the early 2000’s that lead the European Parliament to amend the bill and allow hormone treated beef into their country but, at this point the damage had been done and many large groups of people feel that hormones should be regulated if not banned from beef production all together.

The loss of the use in hormones in the cattle industry would be a very big loss to the industry. These hormones are a cost effective way of growing bigger cattle faster. This provides you the consumer with a safe, good quality product, that is regularly inspected and tested by the FDA. These hormones allow for more beef to come out of less cattle costing less and allowing for cheaper beef at the super market.

The interesting thing about this subject in all is the fact that there is no signs that hormones are harmful especially seeing as these hormones can be found in your own body along with in any foods you eat. The only evidence to detour one from theses products in blogs such as this one along with media cartoons and pictures giving the beef industry a bad image. This image has been painted by nothing but fear and accusations that have little to know footing.

In the end I leave it up to you who you may believe. The meat that you eat being grown by a practice  that allows for safe and economically stable product or to be scared  by people who are scared themselves into not trusting what should be trusted.


My name is Eli Weller. I am a junior Agriculture Science Major at Western Illinois University. I grew yup in a small town called Palmyra, Illinois where my family raise beef cattle and growing crops.


6 thoughts on “What’s the Beef with Hormones?

  1. courtscherer

    Great article that is to the point, people can believe what they want but they need to facts and this is a great blog about what is true and what has been proven!


  2. presleybarr24

    I really enjoyed reading your article, you couldn’t have said it better! It is unfortunate that today’s consumers have turned the beef industry upside down because they do not know what to believe anymore. The graph really suprised me that soybeans show more levels of natural hormones than treated beef cattle. Awesome job with this blog!


  3. Tyler Lentz

    You hit the nail on the head with this one. The fact that people do not have the first clue about hormones is the main problem. We as agriculturalist need to stand up to educated these people about what is right. If we can show them that the food they eat is safe, the world may be a much better place. Great blog on covering a very hot topic in the world of beef production.


  4. madisoncorzatt

    You did a great job explaining the facts. I like that you avoid the filler information and just get right to the point. I think that the chart you chose to use is a great graphic showing the levels of estrogen in many common items. The chart also helps to show that implanted beef has little difference to non implanted beef.


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