Hormones and antibiotics
Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)
Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) is an artificial genetically modified growth hormone developed by Monsanto to increase dairy cows’ milk output. Research shows, however, that treating cows with rBGH does not necessarily yield more milk, or at most only a 5 to 10 percent increase. rBGH does negatively impact the health of the animals, consumers and the environment.
Industrial farms mix antibiotics into animal feed or water to make animals gain weight more rapidly and to control diseases related to overcrowding and unnatural conditions. As much as 80 percent of antibiotics and related drugs used in the United States are given as feed additives to chicken, hogs, and beef cattle without a prescription. This encourages antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a major public health crisis for people, making infections from resistant bacteria increasingly difficult and expensive to treat.
In April 2008, Food and Water Watch released a report, Carbon Monoxide: Masking the Truth About Meat? exposing the use of the toxic gas in meat and fish packaging to create a red color typically associated with freshness. Consumers Union and many other consumer groups say that adding carbon monoxide to meat puts consumers' health at risk by intentionally disguising the color and quality of meat, and potentially more pathogens.