Much confusion and concern often surrounds the use of hormones in beef production.
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These “chemical messengers” are substances produced in the body that travel through the bloodstream to regulate body functions such as reproduction, metabolism and growth. Hormones such as estrogens or androgens are often administered to growing cattle intended for slaughter to promote growth by complementing the effects of naturally occurring hormones. These growth-promoting hormones are generally administered to cattle in the form of small pellets termed ‘implants’, placed under the skin in the animal’s ear. The boost in growth rate created by hormone implants allows for cattle to be finished earlier thereby requiring less time on feed and fewer resources per pound of meat produced.