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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Growth-o-tarian News

 Growth Hormone Meadow Monkeys

Item of interest if you are not a vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, lacto ovo vegetarian....
if you are not one of the strict V word eaters, this may be of interest.

Agricultural News

Cattle in packing plants are showing signs of lameness, sprouting welfare issues around beta-agonist intake.

This issue was first brought to attention when Lilly Edwards-Calloway from JBS showed a video of lame, stiff-gaited cattle at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) summer meeting in early August.
Beta-agonists are growth promotants that mimic the action of naturally occurring hormones. They work by shifting an animal’s metabolism to more efficiently convert feed into protein rather than fat.

In 2012, approximately 70% of fed cattle were receiving a beta-agonist. The summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013 brought extreme heat conditions across the Plains, causing greater-than-expected late-summer mortality.

On August 7, 2013, numerous incidents were reported of impaired cattle mobility. In other words, the cattle refused to move even though there were no signs of pathology such as foot rot.  From August 7 to September 23, Merck temporarily suspended sale of fed cattle on Zilmax (a beta-agonist made by Merck) while Cargill, JBS, Tyson, and National Beef all suspended the acceptance of Zilmax-fed cattle.

Chris Reinhardt, Kansas State University Extension feedlot specialist, said that this issue of “reluctance to move” is real. This was not seen at just one packer, he observed. He said it wasn’t as if one large packer claimed this and others just followed the leader; this reluctance was observed at various packing plants.

It is important to note that there were not any food safety or FDA issues involved.

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