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Use of Hormones in Meat Production: Scientific Testimony

International Press Conference, March 21, 1997, European Parliament, Press Room Leo-Building, Brussels, Belgium.

By Prof. Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., Prof. Joachim Georg Liehr, Ph.D., and Prof. Manfred Metzler, Ph.D.

  • 'Lifelong exposure to residues of natural and synthetic sex growth hormones in meat poses significant, but still poorly recognized public health hazards, particularly of breast and other reproductive cancers. These exposures are also likely to pose feminizing risks.'
  • 'There is no effective regulation of the use of sex growth hormones in feedlots.'
  • 'Legal use of sex hormones results in high residues in meat.'
  • 'Illegal use of sex hormones results in still higher residues.'
  • 'Responding to European concerns, The USDA recently claimed that, based on standard residue monitoring programs, drug levels in violation of regulations have not been detected in meat products. However, of 130 million livestock slaughtered in 1993, not one was tested for estradiol or any related sex hormone.'
  • 'Repeated misleading assurances by USDA and FDA since 1979 on the safety of natural and synthetic hormones are consistent with a similar track record with regard to DES.'
  • 'Repeated misleading assurances of safety by FAO/WHO Committees on Food Additives, with minimal involvement of independent experts in public health and cancer prevention, are inconsistnet with contrary well documented scientific data.'

Information and registration, Bart Staes, European Parliament, MON 230, Belliardstraat 97-B-1047 Brussels, Belgium

T.32-2-2842394 - Fax: 32-2-2849993 - E-mail:

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