The cattle industry, from cow-calf to background to feedlot, is a science and experience-based set of enterprises that work to produce safe, high-quality beef for consumers. This can also be said of pork or any other farm raised meat.
However, the fears of the general public came to light in a conference on antibiotics this week. That is shocking to hear. Listen to a question and answer session that may make you hit your head on the wall, repeatedly.
AUDIO: Profit Matters 5-3-18
During Wednesday’s consumer panel discussion at the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef General Assembly Meeting in Oklahoma City, one topic struck a common chord with participants. Those involved in the discussion were average beef consumers from the Oklahoma City area. The conversation was prompted by a question from the audience asking panelists to expound on their concerns regarding antibiotic use in beef production. Antibiotics soon became growth hormones.
While antibiotic use was the catalyst of this portion of the discussion, it became clear that panelists were not as concerned with antibiotics as they were with the use of growth hormones. One vocal panelist cited reasons she had heard second hand about hormones in the beef supply causing young female children to mature earlier than normal. As a consumer who likes beef and wants to continue to eat it, she said she expects to be able to consume the product without the fear of that happening to her loved ones and fellow consumers.
“You hear these stories, it’s not being read on any billboards or anything. But, as a mother of daughters, you hear that little girls are maturing at a faster rate because of hormones,” the participant said. “This isn’t normal, this isn’t healthy and they’re saying it’s because of the meat they’re eating. I don’t want this to happen to my daughters. I don’t want this to happen to any other little girls. That’s why I want to stay away from that kind of stuff.”
Another panelist interjected in defense of antibiotics, but still shared some of the same concerns.
“I think there’s a big difference between growth hormones and antibiotics. Antibiotics are to help your cows stay healthy,” the second participant said. “Growth hormones and steroids and things like that, no that’s not something I want in the meat. But not enough to keep from buying it.”