By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
A widely-used livestock growth-enhancing drug has been temporarily taken off the U.S. and Canadian markets because of reported side effects to the animals. As reported on August 16th in the Wall Street Journal, Merck & Co. has suspended sales of Zilmax, a feed additive used at some 75,000 cattle feedlots in the U.S. in the weeks prior to slaughter. The drug is said to speed growth by about 30 pounds per animal and make the meat more lean. The move came after reports surfaced about animals being given this, and similar drugs, which may be causing lameness and mobility problems. The concerns are being investigated by the drug manufacturers.
My Viewpoint: Whether the drug pans out to be problematic or not, I strongly believe that all drugs and hormones used to plump up or otherwise unnaturally contribute to animal growth are questionable. They may survive the processing of the meat and the cooking. And possibly affect you – subtly or otherwise. Nobody knows what the long-term, accumulative effects are. I understand why they are used by the growers. But I have choices. I don’t have to eat drugged meat!
What this means to you: It’s another wake-up call. Much of the conventional food we eat has chemicals or some tampering involved. Pesticides. Herbicides. Insecticides. Hormones. Growth-enhancers. Genetically-modified. Etc. In some way, the food is altered. De-naturalized. If it’s in the meat, even in miniscule quantity, you are eating it.
My Recommendation: Choose organic food whenever possible. Ask for it at restaurants.
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