In the twentieth century, the Food and Drugs Administration approved a range of hormones for growth stimulation in beef cattle and sheep as well as in dairy cows and other animals. After the rigorous tests, the agency conducted that the level of synthetic hormones in animal products does not interfere with the bodily functions of humans, consequently, they do no harm. Anyway, the levels of hormones in livestock are under the constant monitoring of FDA which is eligible to withdraw meat with a higher level of hormones than required.
Consumer advocates, however, do not share FDA’s positive attitude concerning growth and sex hormones in the livestock. They support an assumption that synthetic hormones cause irreversible changes in the human body. According to their concerns, manipulating growth hormone in cows may increase insulin-like growth factor in humans. The high blood level of IGF is associated with the risk of cancer. Estrogen and other sex hormones may contribute to the early puberty in children. Even a minimal amount of estrogen can affect kids who do not produce hormones themselves.
As a matter of fact, the effect of synthetic hormones is uncertain due to the little research which has been conducted in the area. While some scientists claim that hormones in the livestock shall be banned, the others stick to the point that processed food and high-calorie drinks contribute to the early puberty much more than synthetic estrogen. Besides, the amount of synthetic IGF in the milk from hormone-treated cows is minuscule as compared to IGF produced by human body. Nevertheless, consumers who seek for more organic food demand that the American food regulation system become more rigorous, just as the European model.