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HORMONE SUPPLEMENTS Q&A
Hormones have become a popular topic among consumers, especially when it comes to animal protein. Yet accurate information regarding the use of hormone supplements in products like beef, pork and poultry can be difficult to find. So we compiled research to equip you with knowledge that will help you make informed decisions for your operation.
UNDERSTANDING HORMONE CLAIMS
Learn what the language on animal protein packaging labels means.
The claims “Raised without added hormones” and “No hormones administered” indicate that hormone supplements were not administered to the animal at any point from birth to harvest.
UNDERSTANDING HORMONE SUPPLEMENTS
Why are they used in meat production? Just like humans, all animals have natural hormones present in their system. Some animals raised for human consumption are administered hormone supplements to assist with growth rate and feed conversion efficiency.
When are they used in meat production?
The USDA enforces the following rules on the administration of hormone supplements to animals intended for human consumption.
Pork and Poultry: the use of hormone supplements on hogs and poultry is prohibited.
Beef: the use of hormone supplements on cattle is permitted. Hormones are traditionally administered to enhance growth development and muscle growth.
Why are there concerns about hormone supplements?
Some consumers are concerned that residual hormones from prolonged exposure could be present in the meat from treated animals, thereby having adverse effects on the end consumer.
It’s worth noting that these supplements are only approved by the FDA after information and/or studies show that food from treated animals is safe for human consumption, and that the supplements do not harm the treated animal or the environment.¹
How can I tell if hormones have not been administered?
The USDA requires specific language on labels that describe the absence of hormone supplements.
Pork and Poultry: because the use of hormone supplements is prohibited, the claim “No hormones added” cannot be used on the label unless it is followed by the following disclaimer: “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.”
Beef: the claim “No hormones administered” can be used if sufficient documentation is provided to the USDA by the producer showing that hormones were not used in raising the animals.
CONSIDER US A RESOURCE AND A PARTNER
At Hormel Foods, we continue to focus on providing consumers with the highest quality, wholesome, nutritious, great-tasting and safe products. During each step of our production process, our commitment to food safety, quality, innovation and nutrition is unwavering.
We invite you to contact us below to continue this important dialogue and ask any questions you might have.