evaluated for safety every 15 years. The use of pesticides is also monitored to ensure that
they are used safely and responsibly.
Figure 12.6 How P esticide Residues Could Potentially End Up in a Fast-Food Meal
Table 12.11: Ways to Reduce Pesticide Residue Intake
Growth hormones: used to enhance the growth of specific cells and increase food efficacy in
animals (meaning that there is more muscle in the animal and less fat, so more to be sold for
Growth hormones are permitted for use in Canada and the United States, however they are prohibited
in the European Union. Scientific evidence however does not show any adverse health effects to
humans from consuming animals treated with the growth hormones approved for us in Canada.
Growth hormones are only permitted in beef cattle in Canada, and there are currently 3 natural
hormone promoters and 3 synthetic hormone promoters approved for use. Growth hormones are
injected into the cattle (typically behind the ear), with the exception of one synthetic hormone
promoter that can be added to the cattle feed.
The use of growth hormones in beef helps to keep beef prices reasonable for consumers. If they
were not used, the cost to produce the same amount of beef would be higher, therefore the cost
to purchase beef would be higher as well.
The growth hormone bST (bovine somatotropin) is not permitted to be used for milk cows in
In Canada, the use of growth hormones are regulated, however this is not the case all over the
world. In Puerto Rico, there are cases of children as young as 7 who are physically adults,
thought to be a result of growth hormones used in chicken. Hormone use is not permitted in
chickens in Canada. o|82
Antibiotics: used to treat infections that affect animal health. Veterinary drugs are assessed to
determine their potential to leave drug residues in the meat, milk or eggs produced by the animal
before they are approved for us in Canada by Health Canada. Maximum residue limits (MRLs)
are set for veterinary antibiotics by Health Canada as well, while the CFIA has the responsibility
to monitoring the food supply to ensure that these standards are being met. MRLs are the
maximum of residue that can remain in the meat, milk or eggs that will not cause any adverse