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American Beef is Banned in Europe and Much of the Rest of the World

By Lee Euler / January 4, 2012

In 1989 the European Economic Community (EEC) banned hormone-treated U. S. meat, citing dangers of meat treated with sex hormones. This wasn’t a case of typical out-of-control bureaucrats. In fact, European consumers pressured the EEC to take this action on behalf of their health.

Ever since, the US Department of Agriculture has been bullying the EEC on unfair trade practices. American farmers view the meat ban as a flimsy excuse to keep out their products. In this case, I think they’re mistaken. People shouldn’t eat this perverted product, and the Europeans are wise to keep it out.

It’s not just the Europeans who won’t buy American meat. Japan initiated its own ban in 2003. Canada and Australia also refuse our hormone-contaminated meats. The U.S. should join them instead of fighting them. Here’s what this stuff can do to you. . .

Continued below. . .

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The EU Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health (SCVPH) confirmed for the third time in 2002 that the use of hormones as cattle growth promoters poses a health risk, in light of a review of 17 studies and other recent scientific data. The committee found no reason to change its previous opinions of 1999 and 2000.1

The SCVPH concluded there’s a substantial body of evidence that estradiol, a common hormone used to grow American beef, must be considered a complete carcinogen. This means it both causes tumors to start and promotes the growth of those that already exist. The committee could not establish any safe level of intake for any of the six hormones now used to quickly fatten beef cattle in America.2

An official EU scientific panel released a comprehensive report confirming at least one of the six growth hormones contained in U.S. beef products causes cancer — beyond doubt.3 They further stated that all the banned hormones are thought to cause a variety of health problems or diseases… including cancer, developmental problems, immunological breakdown, brain disease, and others.

A critical point made by the EU report was that exposure to even small levels of hormone residue in meat and meat products carries some risk.

Drug abuse in the cattle industry

An estimated 90 percent4 of all beef slaughtered in the U.S. is loaded up with hormones before it goes to the butcher and onto your plate.

Today’s six most common hormones in the beef industry are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, plus the synthetic hormones melengesterol, trenbolone or zeranol.

Producers place hormone-releasing pellets under a cow’s ear when it first enters the feedlot, and then again 50 days later. In another 50 days or less, it’s slaughtered.

Worse yet… injection into the muscle is a lucrative and common practice, although it’s against the law.

In the commercial cattle industry, the aim is to add as much weight to the animals as fast as possible. These hormones speed up weight gain and increase profits by $80 per cow. It takes less time for the cow to get fat enough for slaughter and the cow consumes less food along the way.

Conventionally raised beef calves grow from 80 pounds to 1,200 pounds in a period of just 14 months. Calves are fed or implanted with various drugs and hormones, grain and protein supplements… in order to, as the beef industry states, “promote efficient growth”.6

All approved implant products have a zero-day withdrawal… meaning the meat is considered safe to eat any time after the animal is treated.

Here’s the rub, though…

Hormones are natural chemicals that control processes in your body. But they function optimally within a very small range of delicate balance. Any small imbalance of even a single hormone can lead to staggering health problems.

What the cattle eat is what you eat, too. You’re just the next step up on the food chain. And beware…

These hormones do not disappear when they
hit your plate — or your stomach

There are indications that these hormones don’t just disappear when they hit your plate — or your stomach.

So the questions you must ask yourself are…

If hormones are so “safe” why are there so many restrictions on medicating humans with hormones… while medicating cows with them is not only permissible but standard?

Furthermore, if high estrogen is so “safe”, then why is there such a strong link between excess estrogen and cancers of the breast and prostate?

It’s worth noting that the only USDA imposed requirement on safety of hormonal meat is that it be less than one percent of a child’s daily hormonal production.

Yet, a single ear implant of Synovex-S, a combination of estradiol and progesterone, spiked estradiol levels in various meat products up to 20-fold higher than normal.

Samuel Epstein, M.D., environmental cancer expert, states that an eight-year-old boy eating two hamburgers in one day would be exposed to enough estradiol to increase his body’s levels of the hormone by 10 percent.

It’s about like giving your children birth control pills.

And it gets worse. Due to their high hormone levels, cows are more likely to get sick with mastitis and other illnesses requiring antibiotics. So not only are you eating hormones, but you’re also ingesting high amounts of antibiotics. Irresponsible use of antibiotics has led to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a very serious threat.

Déjà vu…? Where have we seen this before?

Four decades after diethylstilbestrol (DES), a growth-enhancing animal feed additive, was first declared carcinogenic (1938), it was finally banned in 1979.

Why it took forty long years for a known carcinogen to be banned is beyond the scope of this article. But it should prompt us to be skeptical of the current notion that these six newer growth hormones are safe for us to eat day in and day out.

Immediately after banning DES, the meat industry switched to its current six carcinogenic additives — particularly the “natural” sex hormones estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone.

Epstein cites the link between spiking cancer rates and a lifetime of exposure to dangerous dietary residues from carcinogenic feed additives.

Deliberate poisoning and your likelihood of cancer

The abuse of these hormones has grown side by side with the rapidly escalating incidence of reproductive cancers in the U.S. Since 1950, there’s been a 55% increase for breast cancer, 120% for testicular cancer, and 190% for prostate cancer.7 (Full disclosure: Other reports cite different rates of increase in these cancers.)

Sex hormones elevate levels of IGF-1 (insulin growth factor-1) — linked to prostate, breast and colon cancer. A Washington University (St. Louis) 2006 study found that healthy vegetarian men have much lower IGF-1 levels than endurance athletes of the same weight who eat meat.8

The World Health Organization also warned that dietary factors account for at least 30 percent of all cancers in Western countries. And researchers found that people who avoid meat are much less likely to develop cancer. Large studies in England and Germany also confirmed that vegetarians were about 40% less likely to develop cancer.9

A 2004 study discovered that men with high IGF-1 have a 50% higher prostate cancer risk, and high IGF-1 women have a 65% higher breast cancer risk than women with lower IGF-1 levels.10

Moreover, American women have a stunning five-fold greater risk of breast cancer than do women in countries that ban hormonal beef.11

Mountains of evidence for a cancer connection

The Europeans, Japanese, and Australians have done a great deal of research and have labeled hormonal meat a definite carcinogen.

It’s been well established since the 1980’s that the cattle hormone estradiol causes gene damage and cancer in rodents which relates to breast and uterine cancer in women.12

Australian researcher Mike Waters, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, published a review in the American journal Endocrinology in 2007, supporting the claims of consumers that meat injected with growth hormones could lead to cancer.

He cited numerous studies connecting cancer with the practice of eating growth-hormone-treated meat. Studies also find that inhibiting growth hormones helps “reduce both size and number of tumors.”

Here’s what to do if you don’t want
to become a vegetarian

Since the government doesn’t seem to get it, take charge yourself. Switch to organic meat!

I believe that many people are not served well by vegetarianism, and need higher dietary protein levels. I favor moderate consumption of meat — and only hormone-free and antibiotic-free meat. There’s a theory of metabolic types — some people thrive on meat, others get sick on it. We’ll discuss this in a future issue. But even if you’re the metabolic type that needs high protein, you should eat only the healthy kind.

If you’re ready to make the switch to hormone-free, antibiotic-free meat, there’s good news! In response to consumer demand, organic livestock in the U.S. bolted from 18,513 in 1997… to 196,506 in 2005. Producers must show through solid documentation that meat has had no hormones or no antibiotics if they want to use “no hormone” or “no antibiotic” labels.

The organic label cannot be used if there are any hormones or antibiotics involved.

Hormone-free meat poses fewer health risks and is also better for the environment and animal health. Although it may be more expensive than conventional red meat, the price reflects its true production costs. It’s not a rip-off — it costs more to raise.

A couple of labeling tricks you should know about: For meat to be organic it must carry the organic label. Meats labeled “hormone-free”, “all-natural”, “grass fed” or “free range” may not necessarily be organic.

At the same time, “organic” animals are not necessarily free range or grass fed. Organic regulations only require that animals have access to the outdoors.

Your healthiest meat is that which is both free range and organic.

Here’s a money-saving trick

If you can’t afford organic for every food you eat, choose the ones that give you the biggest benefit over conventional. Consumer Reports regards organic meat as one of those foods.

Here’s how to save on organic grass fed beef.

First, shop around, because prices on organic foods can vary greatly.

Even better… buy organic grass fed beef from a nearby farmer. This tends to be less expensive and also reduces your carbon footprint. As a bonus, the meat is much more fresh. Plus, you’re supporting local community businesses, and you can check out how it’s raised. I’m a big fan of farmer’s markets. I can’t swear the meat is always cheaper, but the other advantages outweigh the cost.

Check out these websites: www.localharvest.org and http://www.realmilk.com/where2.html for sources of organic, grass-fed beef in your area. There are also national providers who will ship to you, if you’re unsuccessful in finding something local.

If you can swing the upfront cost, consider getting a quarter, half, or whole cow butchered to your specifications, generally at less cost per pound. You do need a large freezer. But the savings from buying in bulk are considerable. Having a supply in your home will lessen emergency trips to the grocery store, as well as the temptation to patronize that place with the golden arches, and others like it.

Kindest regards,

Lee Euler,
Publisher


Footnotes:

1EU Scientists Confirm Health Risks of Growth Hormones in Meat, Associated Press, April 23, 2002.
2EU Scientists Confirm Health Risks of Growth Hormones in Meat, Associated Press, April 23, 2002.
3Ronnie Cummins & Ben Lilliston, Beef Hormones, Irradiation, & Mad Deer: America’s Food Safety Crisis Continues, Center for Food Safety News #19 (formerly Food Bytes), June 4, 1999, at 1. The EU’s Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures spoke to the Associated Press and stated “the hormone 17 beta-oestradiol has to be considered as a complete carcinogen”. Id.
4Epstein, Samuel, S., M.D. Cancer Risks of Hormonal Meat, The Chemical Jungle: Today’s Beef Industry. From International Journal of Health Services, 20:277-280, 1990.
5http://www.buzzle.com/articles/hormones-in-food.html
6http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2006/03/07/how-you-are-being-fooled-at-the-meat-counter.aspx
7http://www.preventcancer.com/press/editorials/march24_97.htm, “None of Us Should Eat Extra Estrogen”, Los Angeles Times, March 24, 1997.
8http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/8388.aspx
9http://www.cancerproject.org/survival/cancer_facts/meat.php
10http://www.livestrong.com/article/536013-adverse-reactions-to-hormones-in-food/
11http://healthfreedoms.org/2010/05/26/hormones-in-u-s-beef-linked-to-increased-cancer-risk/
12http://www.preventcancer.com/press/releases/may31_99.htm The European Ban On Hormonal Meat Is Based On Valid Scientific Evidence. Press Conference By Professor Samuel S. Epstein M.D. May 31, 1999

About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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