don't beat your meat
April 18, 2006 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Does the US Department of Agriculture prohibit the use of growth hormones on meat raised for consumption? What other chemicals / additives are prohibited?
posted by luriete to Food & Drink (3 answers total)
No, the USDA does not. There is however a labeling program for organic foods, which should not have growth hormones.
posted by jellicle at 11:21 AM on April 18, 2006

There are many countries where this practice is prohibited, so imported meat from the appropriate country is also an option. Similar story (I think) with antibiotics, carbon monoxide, genetically modified feedstock, etc. I think there is a bit of a consumer protection kerfuffle right now over carbon monoxide meat treatment, so that one might get changed soon.

From the point of view of many countries, the FDA is quite lax about meat standards. From an American point of view, much of the world is silly paranoid worryworts :-)
(Or worse - some US groups accuse other countries of having these standards with the sole intention of creating a one-way trade barrier. This in turn creates some resentment in consumers when the US tries to strongarm dismantle and lower their food standards laws in order to get easier access to the market for their producer lobbyiests, but this is probably not related to your question).
posted by -harlequin- at 12:51 PM on April 18, 2006

(Also, if looking at imported meats is helpful, (which might not be - it's hard to tell from the question), it's unlikely to be a simple case of yes/no, I imagine many countries put limits on the amounts of stuff that can be used, rather than an outright ban. It makes no sense to ban antibiotics, for example, since they have a legimate use when an animal is wounded or sick, so instead you'd get limits to reduce deliberate overuse)
posted by -harlequin- at 12:59 PM on April 18, 2006

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