About Growth Hormones and Antibiotics in our Food

Growth hormones in cows

Canad has some of the strictest regulations when it comes to food and beverages because everything has to get by the Ministry of Health. Did you know that nowadays it’s a common practice to inject the animal intended for the Canadian consumer with growth hormones? Is this really safe?

In fact it’s common practice to use  antibiotics and hormones in many of our farm animals in Canada. The purpose is to assist animals to growth as fast as possible and resist threats of different types of illness  associated with this type of  extreme growth. The truth is that growth hormones and antibiotics used in animals is a safe part of our food system in Canada and actually protects us as consumers.

Why Canada uses hormones in Food?

Development hormones can be artificial or natural (man-made). They are made use of to increase lean tissue development while decreasing fat in animals. The result is a much healthier  growing  animal at a lower expense for the consumer in the long run.
Antibiotics can be utilized to deal with illness in animals and prevent diseases that are developed during the faster growth phase. They work by decreasing growth or eliminating bacteria that are damaging to the health of animals and humans. This results in food that are disease-free.

Foods that contain growth hormones and antibiotics

Spraying apples
Spraying apples

In Canada, growth hormones are only offered to beef cattle (and not dairy products cattle). There are no growth hormones utilized in poultry or pork production. Antibiotics, on the other hand, are used in many different farm animals. They are often used of in poultry, pork and fish that are being raised for food. Also did you know that certain types of antibiotics are also be sprayed on apples and other fruits grown in Canada.

For animal products, if a cow is treated with antibiotics because of an infection, the milk they produce cannot be used nor can the eggs from chickens when hens are given antibiotics.

The use of growth hormones and antibiotic levels have to be tracked of for safety and the The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regularly audits food to ensure that antibiotic and hormone levels are at safe levels established by Health Canada, for human consumption. If high levels are found than there will be a recall on all foods at the market and food supply. In addition all the domestic and imported foods are tested before they hit the supermarkets in Canada.

The influence on your health

Many Canadian wonder if there have actually been any health concerns  from using growth hormones and antibiotic in the foods we eat and that’s a great question.

The concern is always that if  hormones are injected or sprayed on our food could this cause cancer or other damaging health concerns? Well you can rest easy because there have been many test over the years and all support the claims that there has actually been no evidence that has actually revealed that animals treated with growth hormones are a risk to human health. In fact there hormones are very similar to what the human body produces making them completely safe for use in Canada.

With regards to overuse of antibiotics both in people and in animals to treat or avoid infections has caused some issue with antibiotic resistance. Bacteria and germs can actually build a resistant when antibiotics are used too much making it much more difficult to prevent and treat infections. Health Canada has been very proactive in it’s duty to keep up testing and scientific evidence on antibiotic resistance.

Minimizing direct exposure with your food intake

Even though the use of growth hormones and antibiotics in animals and on fruit is considered to be safe for food in Canada, there are a few pointers to help you decrease your exposure to these additives:

  • Organic foods have less traces of prescription antibiotics than non-organic foods.
  • Because beef cattle are the only animals that contains development hormones, consider picking natural beef instead of traditional beef when you can.
  • Dairy products cattle do not get development hormones so you do not have to restrict conventional milk or milk items.
  • Thoroughly wash all vegetables and fruit for thirty seconds under running tap water to lessen the intake of antibiotics.
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