What Are The Standard For Antibiotic or Hormone-free Foods?
Today we are going to take a look at two product labels that can be pretty confusing, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free.
Antibiotic-Free Food Labels
Just like in humans, antibiotics are used to help animals get past infections. If we didn't use antibiotics with animals who had infections, they could die. Again, just like humans. Even animals raised for food purposes are given antibiotics when sick.
This is normal and isn't a health concern.
These labels mean that antibiotics aren't added to the animals' food or regularly administered as part of general care.
Some farms feed their animals antibiotics or regularly administer them to maintain their health.
Antibiotics can be problematic in animals as it can lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant viruses and bacteria. Some of these can be transmitted to humans and thus create a health concern for us.
The reason that antibiotics can still be used on animals labeled antibiotic-free is partially for the well-being of the animal.
Hormone-Free Food Labels
All animals contain a level of hormones naturally, as do humans. These hormones help animals to grow, control their functions and maintain health. Naturally occurring hormones are not a problem when it comes to eating meat. Hormone-free labels refer to hormones that are administered to livestock artificially. This makes the hormone-free name a little misleading.
The Food and Drug Administration does not allow pork or poultry livestock to be given hormones under any condition.
Artificial hormones are used to help promote further growth in cattle and other allowed animals. The added hormones enable farmers to get extra meat off each animal and increase milk production in milking cows. However, there are several health concerns associated with artificial hormones. The biggest concern is that multiple artificially produced hormones have been tied to a higher risk of cancer.
Before trusting labels you see at the store, you must learn about the various meanings. Not all labels are as straight forward as the label implies.
If you have questions about other labels that you might see at the store, you can always check the FDA or USDA websites for further information.
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