How would eliminating hormones impact the meat industry?

Cattle ranchers use hormones to improve how animals’ bodies turn food into lean muscle. This means meat is leaner and animals grow more quickly. This is one factor that helps meat prices for the consumers. Additionally, there’s less of an environmental impact per pound of meat raised today because of tools such as growth hormones. Each pound of beef raised in 2007, compared to 1977, uses 19 percent less feed, 33 percent less land, 12 percent less water and 9 percent less fossil fuel energy.

http://www.explorebeef.org/CMDocs/ExploreBeef/IMCattlemensStewardshipReview.pdf

Further, the use of growth hormones produces animals with leaner muscle, meaning the final product is less fatty – a quality many consumers demand and appreciate.

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm055436.htm

Similarly, dairy farmers may use hormones to extend milk production so fewer cows can make more milk, reducing costs and environmental impact. Modern dairy practices require considerably fewer resources than dairying in 1944 with 21 percent of animals, 23 percent of feedstuffs, 35 percent of the water and only 10 percent of the land required to produce the same one billion kilograms of milk. Hormones given to dairy cows are not the same as those given to cattle for beef. It doesn’t cause the animal to grow bigger.

USFRA Point of View

USFRA's View on Hormones Hormones occur naturally in living animals and even in some produce. Many consumers have questions about supplemental hormone use in raising farm animals. Farmers and ranchers are committed to sharing information and answering questions about hormone use so consumers can... Read more