Everyone has seen or heard of the Discovery Channel show “Mythbusters” where Jamie, Adam, and their faithful crew put to test some of the most common myths believed out there. Well, today Amie and I are putting our own myth to the test! The Pork Checkoff Report is a publication that we receive here in the office that is packed full of interesting information about the Pork Industry. Flipping through we found an article in the “Public Health” section that is rather interesting.
The Myth: Pork Producers use antibiotics and hormones to make their pigs grow faster with the sole purpose of helping their farms get a bigger paycheck.
As you faithful readers know, we are BIG advocates on educating about agriculture and setting the story straight when it comes to our industry. This myth is one that most people believe because of what activist groups and the media throw out there for consumers to believe just because they have no idea otherwise. Headlines are spelled out across the newspapers and scrolled across televisions and blogs about harmful antibiotics and hormones everyday. The reporters are also saying that these pork producers are only using these antibiotics and hormones to put money into their own pockets. They say that because the “drugs” are making the animals grow fatter, quicker, the producer is able to make more money. People believe what the reporters and extremist are saying because they don’t know better. They have never heard the real truth and by default think all antibiotics and hormones are harmful for not only the animal’s health, but the human consumers as well.
The Facts: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ONLY approved hormone products for use in breeding pigs for reproductive uses, NOT for growth promotion. There are no hormone-containing products for U.S. pork producers to use in nursery, grower or finisher pigs.”
“When pork producers use antibiotics, they do it to treat illness, prevent disease, and to allow pigs to grow better on less feed, which results in less manure.” Just like when I am sick with a sinus infection, I go to the doctor and I am prescribed an antibiotic that gets rid of my cold. I also take a multivitamin to keep me healthy; and not to say that a multivitamin IS anything like an animal antibiotic, it merely shows I take medicine to keep me healthy. It is NO different in animals!!! There are not people standing outside the drug store protesting my consumption of medicine to keep me healthy – what is the difference for animals. Animal activist protest against the use of the helpful medicines but they also protest the mistreatment of animals. And forgive me if I am wrong, but by not providing these animals with the medicines and nutrition they need seems like a little inhumane to me. Also, the antibiotics and hormones that are given to the animals are not just random medicines not tested. The article in The Pork Checkoff Report explains, “Veterinarians provide professional input to guide producers on antibiotic use. The Pork Quality Assuranceâ Plus program provides good production practices for producers to follow on use and recordkeeping. In the end, producers use FDA-approved antibiotics when necessary to protect and maintain the health and welfare of their animals, which helps ensure food safety and human health – a responsibility they take very seriously as part of their ethical principles.” The pork producers do not give these antibiotics and hormones to their animals to just fatten their own wallet, but rather to keep their animals SAFE and healthy. Pork Producers care!
For more information got to www.pork.org and search for antibiotics and hormones.