Injection Of Hormones In Animals Used For Food Biology Essay


Bovine Somatotropin or commonly known as BST is one of the injection of hormones in food animals which has been introduced to food animal production since as early as 1930's. Another name for BST is Bovine Growth Hormones (BGH) where the hormones are secreted naturally from the pituitary gland of cows. This has been proven that there were traces found in milk product which produced from injected animals. The uses of BST or BGH is banned and approved in certain countries due to their own research and opinions of effects on humanity. Due to high demand on foods, animals or what we categorized as live stocks are being slaughtered for food supply in this world. In this case, the amount of live stock required will also increase as it is highly demanded in the meat and dairy industry. The high in percentage uses of the growth hormones for claves should not be approved and focus of the safety or side. Highly usage of growth hormones in food animals may cause the animal itself which might transfer to human and face a higher risk of diseases related to injection of hormones in food animal. In general, hormones are used in food animals to increase the production and mainly for humanity livestock, but do the foods we eat daily are safe to be eaten and what are the effects to human health? The purpose of this research of study is to investigate the effects of uses due to exposure of injected food animal.

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What is injection of hormones? Injection of hormones is a method of giving profit to the farmers as it helps the animals to gain weight as well as increase the amount of milk produce by the animals. Injecting of hormones in cattle is a very common to meat and dairy industry where the hormones are naturally secreted from the pituitary gland of cows. Even though, this can be really harmful for human, animals and environment. Basically, hormones are very essential for the proper functioning of the various body organs of the humans, as well as the other animals but imbalance of a single hormone can create a lot of problems. Hormones are certain kind of chemicals that are naturally present in the human body which produced naturally in small amount in various hormone producing organs. However, their role is very important significant in various body functions for development and growth of various body parts.

"Bovine Somatotropin or BST is discovered in early 1930's where the rats were found in the growth phase when injected with a crude rat pituitary extract underwent increased the growth rate." ( Institute Of Food Science & Technology, 1999)

Even though back in 1950's it was discovered that a certain type of human dwafirsm occured due to inappropriate of pituitary production of BST hormones. However, a clinical trial is done and shown to demonstrate that BST does not biologically active in human body.

B.A. Crooker, et al. (1994) in his book found that in the milk yield, it shown the increased in production once the BST was administered to dairy industry which was found by scientist back in 1937. However, due to limited supplies of BST extracted from pituitary glands of slaughtered animals, a new technology has developed which leads to recombinant of DNA that almost similar to be used in insulin produced for humans.


Six types or stimulators of growth hormones are approved in using of growth hormones in food animal. They are three naturally occurring hormones which are estradiol, progesterone and testosterone and three synthetically produced hormones which are zeranol, trenbolone and melengestrol. Usually these hormones are to be injected into cattle at different stage of ages or maturity. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow the injection of calves with these hormones but in 2004, the beef industry in United States (US) was guilty of injecting 90% of calves with these hormones which has never been evaluated.

Testosterone is a male hormone which equivalent to trenbolone acetate and progesterone. A female hormone zeranol, 17 beta-estradiol and melengestrol acecate (MGA) are commonly used to implant or inject into cows for industry uses. Melengestrol is a type of additive or extra nutrient that added into raw materials such as foods and drinks. Facts about growth hormones is they help to develop and produce a better quality meat by changing the deposition of fat and growth of animals.

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Hormones or steroid are usually been injected at behind if the skin of ear of animal for safety. A pellet is implanted behind the ear and once the animal been slaughtered, the ears of animals are thrown away. If the pellet or ear implant does not been used in proper way, the effects could result in higher levels of hormones residues to be remained in meat that consumer eat. Each pellet consists of growth-promoting hormone that is released slowly into the blood and then carried to tissues. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was the first growth-promoting compounds but dangerous for human concerns and safety of consumers since it may increase the chances of getting cancer and infertility in mothers so it was then be taken off from the market few years ago. For dairy cattle, the growth hormones, rBGH or recombined Bovine Growth Hormones, may be injected under the skin and it comes in packages to reduce the usage of overdose in animals concerns.



BST is also known as BGH (bovine growth hormone) which used to control the milk produces by the cows. Recombined Bovine Growth Hormones or also called as rBGH, is a new developed DNA Technology which is genetically-engineered version of BST that increased milk production by 10% to 25%. In 1993, it was approved by FDA itself or Food and Drug Administration, and in year 2008 most of the cows been injected by rBGH.


Hormones are used in cattle industry in United States to increase the beef production in1956. DES (Diethylstilbestrol) is one of the hormones used in cattle in 1954 and been approved by FDA. These six growth hormones are the growth hormones that approved by FDA in 1970's which are Oestradiol, Progesterone, Testosterone, Zeranol, Trenbolone, and Melengestrol. The uses of these hormones helps to increase the quality and along improve the meat by decreasing the fat content. Thus, hormones not only apart gives benefits to farmers and reduce costs for producers by reducing the price of meat products for satisfaction of consumers.


90% of calves which are under maturity ages been injected in 2004 and United States was found guilty because those six approved growth hormones are only can be used in adult cattle for animals concerns and health which may lead to side effects of the calves and consumers. It is suspected that these hormones may be metabolized differently in the young calf's body which could lead to greater amounts of hormones consumed by people who eat veal.

In order to increase the milk production, cows are being treated by using hormone. Thus, these cows will have a higher risk to cause inflammation of mammary gland in the breast. More antibiotic is being applied to treat them, but on the other hand, the amount of antibiotic in the milk is increased. If a human exposes to these antibiotics through milk or dairy product in long period, the antibiotic residues will gain resistance to the human body's antibiotics and hence it is dangerous especially when he/she is sick because the available antibiotics is quite difficult to take over the resistant bacteria. (Renu Gandhi, 2003).

Foods and drinks should be taken cleanly otherwise bacterias in the food may affect human health. Dr Pandula Siribaddana(2010) said that health is should be the main concern in the method of raising food animals, this is due to about 30 percent of people worldwide suffers from food-brone disease yearly. Pathogenic organism is the main reason to cause it to happen. (World Health Organization,2007)