Healthy and Safe Food

Hormones, livestock and meat

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Fact: no food is hormone-free. Hormones occur naturally in plants and animals, meaning that there is no such thing as hormone-free food.

Dairy cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys in Canada are not given hormones for milk production or growth promotion. Some beef farmers may use government-approved hormones, however, in beef cattle, because it promotes efficient muscle growth, rather than fat. That application means leaner meat using less feed. It also helps keep food more affordable for Canadians.

The bottom line

Worldwide, the use of hormones in cattle has been confirmed as safe, and as having no impact on human health by agencies including Health Canada, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations, and is based on ongoing research and monitoring1.

Quick Fact: Hormones are one of many methods farmers use to produce affordable, environmentally friendly, and high-quality beef for Canadians. The technology allows farmers and ranchers to use 10 per cent less land, seven per cent less fuel, and raise 12 per cent fewer animals to produce the same amount of food2.

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