Hormone Label Claims


April 6, 2021 - <dunckelm@msu.edu>, <grobbelj@msu.edu> & Ashley Kuschel,

Hormones are naturally produced chemical messenger substances found in both animals and plants. Hormones are needed for basic cell function.

Hormone Use

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of added hormones in beef, lamb and milk production to safely increase milk production or to more efficiently produce meat. Beef and sheep producers may use hormones to help livestock grow more efficiently. Synthetic bovine growth hormones, such as rBST, are available to dairy farmers, however due to consumer preference and retail industry pressure, the practice is rarely used today. Meat and milk products from animals given hormones are considered safe. These products have similar levels of hormones as animals not given added hormones.

No added hormones, No hormones administered, Raised without added hormones

Hormones are naturally occurring and all cellular organisms contain them. Given this, the label term “hormone free” or “no hormones” is not accurate or allowed. The correct label wording should be “no added hormones”, “raised without added hormones" or "no hormones administered".

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Pork or Poultry Products

The FDA does not allow the use of any hormones when raising pigs or poultry. Therefore, the claim "no hormones added" cannot be used on the labels of pork or poultry unless it is followed by a statement that says "Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones".

Beef or Lamb Products

The term "no hormones administered" may be approved for use on the label of beef or lamb products if sufficient documentation is provided the U.S. Department of Agriculture by the farmer showing no added hormones have been used in raising the animals.



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