Consumer Panel Agrees Antibiotic Use in Beef Production is Acceptable, But Part Ways on HormonesWed, 02 May 2018 17:05:20 CDT
During Wednesday’s consumer panel discussion at the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef General Assembly Meeting in Oklahoma City, one topic struck a common chord with participants. Those involved in the discussion were average beef consumers from the Oklahoma City area. The interesting conversation highlighted in this article, was prompted by a question from the audience asking panelists to expound on their aforementioned concerns regarding antibiotic use in beef production.
While antibiotic use was the catalyst of this portion of the discussion, it became clear that panelists were not as concerned with antibiotics as they were with the use of growth hormones. One vocal panelist cited reasons she had heard second hand about hormones in the beef supply causing young female children to mature earlier than normal. As a consumer who likes beef and wants to continue to eat it, she said she expects to be able to consume the product without the fear of that happening to her loved ones and her fellow consumers.
“You hear these stories, it’s not being read on any billboards or anything. But, as a mother of daughters, you hear that little girls are maturing at a faster rate because of hormones,” she said. “This isn’t normal, this isn’t healthy and they’re saying it’s because of the meat they’re eating. Because we are carnivores and we like our meat, I don’t want to this to happen to my daughters. I don’t want this to happen to any other little girls. That’s why I want to stay away from that kind of stuff.”
Another panelist interjected in defense of antibiotics but still sharing some of the same concerns.
“I think there’s a big difference between growth hormones and antibiotics. Antibiotics are to help your cows stay healthy,” he said. “Growth hormones and steroids and things like that, no that’s not something I want in the meat. But not enough to keep from buying it.”
The first panelist agreed with his statement and acknowledged that as a consumer unfamiliar with production practices, perhaps did not understand the difference between hormones and antibiotics but argued, “I just know there’s something in there that God did not put in that cow.”
Another panelist contributed her thoughts to the discussion as well adding that she believed producers truly cared about their animals and could not buy into the idea that a producer would manage their livestock in a way that was harmful to the animal or the consumer.
Listen to an excerpt of the discussion to hear the debate among panelists regarding their take on antibiotic us, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below. To hear the entire conversation, click over to an earlier story here.
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