Hormones have been used in beef production since the 1950s. Numerous scientific studies have confirmed they are safe and pose no threat to humans that consume the meat. They are used widely in over 20 countries and its estimated 90% of the fed cattle in the U.S. receive a growth hormone.
It is true that beef from hormone implanted cattle has increased estrogenic activity compared with non-implanted beef. But we measure those hormones in nanograms. Beef from a non-implanted steer has less than one nanogram of estrogen, while beef from an implanted steer has about 2 nanograms.
Is that significant? Well, scientists say it amounts to about one blade of grass in a football field. Compare that 2 nanograms of beef from an implanted steer with the same quantity of eggs and we find the eggs contain 94 grams of estrogen. A 3 oz serving of tofu contains about 19 million nanograms of estrogen.
Those numbers are why Canada and the United States believe the European beef ban is not about a valid health or safety concern, but more about politics and market access.