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Kenny Caselnova
Mr. Welter
Honors Challenge
18 April 2016
What are You Eating?
Everybody has to eat. Whether you are live for meat or are just a vegetarian, you will be
consuming byproducts that have been added to your food to benefit the industry. These
byproducts have been added to foods to benefit the producer because they force the animal
chemically to grow and mature much faster than it would naturally, which creates a more
abundant food source to be slaughtered and sold. Antibiotics, hormones,pesticides, and steroids
have all been added to everyday foods that are having negative health effects on humans. These
effects have also translated to the animals being subjected to these chemicals and the entire food
industry. Many severe cases of these extraneous ingredients being used have been recorded in
many countries and continents, including Cyprus, Brazil, China, Vietnam, India, and even our
home, the United States.
There are many forms of hormones that can occur, whether they are natural or synthetic.
An article written by Cornell university describes hormones as Hormones are chemicals that are
produced naturally in the bodies of all animals, including humans. They are chemical messages
released into the blood by hormone-producing organs that travel to and affect different parts of
the body. (Snedeker). The hormones are produced in small amounts, but they have such a large

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effect on the body. Due to this, animal producers target the hormones in the animals that controls
their growth. The chemicals added to the feed or injected into the animals help reduce the
waiting time and the amount of feed eaten by an animal before being slaughtered in the meat
industries. For dairy cows, hormones are used to increase milk production. Hormones have
heavily affected the profitability of these industries. The FDA approved the use of antibiotics in
livestock in the 1950s after studies showed that animals that got the drugs in their feed put on
more weight in less time than animals on a traditional diet. Suzanne Snedeker, research project
leader for the Breast Cancer and Environmental Factors stated that, pigs that got an antibiotic
were shown to need 10 to 15 percent less feed to reach the same weight as pigs on regular diets.
(Snedeker). The food industry uses these byproducts to increase growth, create less time for
animal growth, and to overall increase their profits by the unknowing consumers.
Prolonged periods of adding hormones to the human body can be very dangerous. Every
time you eat certain brands of meat, milk, and even vegetables, you are adding unnecessary
hormones to the body. Antibiotics are also used on animals to reduce disease, and people can
consume small amounts while eating meals. Antibiotics are added to animal feed to treat and
prevent infections and to create rapid growth and production. Not until recently, the major
concerns about the use of antibiotics in animal feeds has been related to the antibiotic residues in
products from treated animals. The longer that people consume these food borne antibiotics, the
more resistant bacteria becomes. The Center of Disease Control stated, Some bacteria have
become resistant to more than one type of antibiotic, which makes it more difficult to treat the
infections they cause. Preserving the effectiveness of antibiotic drugs is vital to protecting human

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and animal health (Center of Disease Control). By having these drug resistant bacterias, there
are no treatments, meaning that these infections are fatal. Concerned about the high levels of
antibiotics in foods, the National Center for Biotechnology Information released a statement
including a conclusion made in 1969 that report drew attention to the potential for antibioticresistant bacteria to spread from treated animals via the food chain, there was little response
(NCBI). Since 1969, the NCBI knew that there was going to be possible bacterial strains that
would be resistant to treatment, and failed to act against it, putting the lives of humans at risk.
Antibiotics and hormones also have a heavy impact on the animals that it is administered
to. There are many good, and bad results that can happen by adding byproducts to living animals
that have many risk factors. Some benefits of adding antibiotics to the animals is that it increases
growth and production rate in the animals. A study produced by the University of Delaware
concluded that in when tetracycline and penicillin were added to chicken feed, it showed
substantial improvement in egg production, feed efficiency and hatchability, but no significant
effect on mortality (University of Delaware). Also, it reduces the amount of clinically sick
animals and it prevents and reducing the incidence of infectious disease. Some negative effects
include the animal will retain the bacteria that is already resistant to antibiotics, that bacteria may
be spread to other animals, and the bacteria will continue to grow in the animal's intestinal tracts
and in the muscle tissues. Also, the bacteria may be spread to humans through several ways, one
being the worker does not wash their hands properly, and the bacteria is ingested. Secondly, in
slaughterhouses, during the slaughter, the intestine is severed and the slaughter house workers

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are exposed to resistant bacteria. Finally, humans can get infected by eating meat from animals
with resistant bacteria.
The food industry has been taken over by the addition of hormones and antibiotics to
foods. Industrial agriculture has taken over our food supply. Food producers are trying to feed
more people in an easier and more productive way. Due to this, food has become products full
of chemicals, not real food. This new food is contributing to diseases that are shortening the
human lifespan for the first time. On average, Americans spend roughly 90% of their food
budgets on processed foods, which have been treated in some way before they were harvested or
butchered. Almost all of these foods contain additives that were intended to change the food in
some way before it gets sold to the consumer. Genetic engineering plays a big role in the food
industry now as well. GRACE Communications Foundation describes genetic engineering as,
Genetic engineering (Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO) is the process of transferring
specific traits, or genes, from one organism into a different plant or animal. (Dawn Brighid).
About 70% of processed foods in America contain genetically modified ingredients. In 2005,
32.5 million cattle were slaughtered to provide beef for US consumers. Scientists believe about
two-thirds of American cattle raised in for slaughter today are injected with hormones to make
them grow faster. These measures mean higher profits for the beef industries.
Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean which has a very high rate for additives
in their foods. According to a European report in 2013, Cyprus topped the list of European
countries, by using 408 mg antibiotics per 1 kilo of meat. The amount of antibiotics that the
animals are consuming in Cyprus is larger than the amount consumed by humans in certain parts

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of the world. This growing trend poses a great risk that superbugs will develop and spread,
whether through direct contact between humans and animals, or through the consumption of
uncooked meat. A report, entitled Antimicrobials in Agriculture and the Environment: Reducing
Unnecessary Use and Waste, also calls for strict standards around industrial pollution, ensuring
as little manufacturing waste as possible is released into the environment. The author ONeill
stated, As weve highlighted, most of the scientific research provides evidence to support
curtailing antibiotic use in agriculture, its time for policy makers to act on this. We need to
radically reduce global use of antibiotics and to do this we need world leaders to agree to an
ambitious target to lower levels, along with restricting the use of antibiotics important to
humans (Christou). ONeill is a man not only working for global effort, but for the country of
Cyprus to be pure once again.
Brazil is a major food exporter to many parts of South America, as well as the rest of the
world. Brazil has become one of the worlds largest exporters or coffee, soybeans, and
sugarcane. Little do consumers know, these products have been coated and sprayed with
incredibly high levels of herbicides and insecticides. Herbicides are primarily used to eradicate
weeds and any other unwanted vegetation, while insecticides are used to control a wide variety
of insects and to prevent them from eating the crops. As of last year a study was completed by
Anvisa, which is Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency. They concluded that out of
1,665 samples collected, ranging from rice to apples to peppers, 29 percent showed residues
that either exceeded allowed levels or contained unapproved pesticides (Reuters Investigates).
The farmers and food industries in Brazil are bypassing most of the food laws and are violating

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the maximum levels of pesticides allowed on the crops. Also, in 2007 Ansiva began keeping
records of the number of human intoxications by pesticides which has more than doubled, from
2,178 that year to 4,537 in 2013 (Reuters Investigates). This study shows that the number of
annual deaths linked to pesticide intoxication is rising in Brazil, which is directly linked with the
use of pesticides on their foods.
Vietnam is a country located in southeast Asia, who primarily uses antibiotics and
pesticides to prepare their foods. In Vietnam, a study was produced track the use of pesticides
and their effects. During the 10 year study from 1997 to 2007, roughly 1100 new types of
pesticides (differing in active ingredients or formulation) were registered in Vietnam (National
Center for Biotechnology Information) and the use of pesticides by weight grew at an annual
average of 7.6 % between 1990 and 2003 (National Center for Biotechnology Information).
This increase of pesticide use has been causing diverse health effects in farmers ranging from
cancer to death. Urine samples were taken from a group of rice farmers who reside in Vietnam,
and the results showed that the detected levels of pesticide uptake in this group exceeded
international safety levels (National Center for Biotechnology Information). In addition, studies
from Vietnam measured the contamination of aquatic organisms with pesticide residues and
detected concentrations at levels that are potentially harmful at daily consumption rates of local
diets. Due to the regionally intensified food production, there is a broad potential impact on
human health, ranging from acute to chronic poisonings from the pesticides used on their foods.
India, a country with a population of 1.2 billion people, has to rely on agriculture to feed
their immense population. To produce more food from the same amount of animals, antibiotics

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are added to so that more muscle tissue and fat is grown by the animal. According to a report
from the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML),
chicken breeders in India are relying on antibiotics to add some extra fat to the bird and while
this may make for a tasty dish, it could affect bacterial resistance in humans (CSE and PML).
Out of 70 samples of chicken from the Delhi region, roughly 40% tested positive for six common
types of antibiotics. At this rate of antibiotic use, it could lead to the emergence of resistant
bacteria in the animal which could be transmitted to humans through food, environment and
direct contact with the affected meat of the animal. Hospitals in India are already showing an
increase in the amount of bacterial strains that are resistant to antibiotics. No regulations have
been put in place for the poultries content, unless it is being exported to other countries.
Feeding Chinas population of 1.3 billion people is a difficult task, even if all of the
necessary circumstances are met. Not only is securing enough food for the people a problem, but
also the means of developing the food. Food is one of the basic survival needs, so as it becomes a
commercial food commodity, incidents of illegal activities have occurred by the manufacturers
and producers. These incidents have jeopardised the public's trust in their food safety. Misuse of
fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, and anti parasite agents have led to the unsafe compounds
found in the food. Many fatal cases of cadmium exposure through food have been reported in
China and in 2007, results from a survey conducted by the Nanjing Agricultural University
showed that more than 11% of rice samples collected from several regions around china were
tainted by cadmium. In these regions more than 16% of rice samples exceeded the safety levels

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for lead (Nanjing Agricultural University) and 11% exceeded the levels for cadmium
(Nanjing Agricultural University). These incidents of illegal chemical additives in foods are
leading to public health hazards, social distrust of the food industry, and loss of public
confidence in the regulation systems.
The United States has been falsely producing food since the mid 1950s, when the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved a number of steroid hormone drugs and
antibiotics for use in beef cattle and sheep. These drugs increase the animal's growth rate and the
efficiency by which they convert the feed they eat into meat. These steroid hormone drugs are
typically formulated as pellets or implants that are placed under the skin on the back side of
the animals ear. The implants dissolve slowly under the skin and do not require removal. The
ears of the treated animals are discarded at slaughter and are not used for human food. In a recent
report, the WHO (World Health Organization) declared its intention to "reduce the overuse and
misuse of antimicrobials in food animals for the protection of human health." Specifically, the
WHO recommended that prescriptions be required for all antibiotics used to treat sick food
animals, and urged efforts to "terminate or rapidly phase out antimicrobials for growth promotion
if they are used for human treatment." By injecting the animals with antibiotics, it creates a
higher resistance to many bacterias. When the people who ingested the meat eventually go to the
doctors because they become ill, no prescribed antibiotics will work because they have built up
such a tolerance to the medications from the meat they eat.
Eating is a necessity for survival. It doesnt really matter what you like to eat, meat or
vegetables, no matter what you are going to be consuming poisons and chemicals that genetically

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changed the food you are eating. The food industry, human health, and the health of farm animals
are all declining because of these preservatives that are being implanted and consumed. The food
industry no longer has concerns about human standards for health, but the potential profit
backing their decisions is immense. All of the extreme cases of tampered foods have been found
in Cyprus, Brazil, China, Vietnam, India, and even the United States. Although you always have
to eat, before you do, ask yourself; What are you eating?

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Works Cited
Effects of Antibiotics on Animal Feed." - Presentation. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29
Mar. 2016. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of
Medicine, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"How Industrial Food Impacts Your Health." GRACE Communications Foundation. N.p., n.d.
Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"Antibiotic Use in Cyprus' Animal Farming Is Eight times Recommend Limit (Updated) Cyprus Mail." Cyprus Mail. N.p., 08 Dec. 2015. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"The Future of Food Production in Great Britain." Science 97.2525 (1943): 459. Web.
Prada, Paulo. "Fateful Harvest: Why Brazil Has a Big Appetite for Risky Pesticides." Reuters.
Thomson Reuters, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"U.S. Food and Drug Administration." Steroid Hormone Implants Used for Growth in FoodProducing Animals. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"Meat Safety." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"Chinas Growing Food Problem/Opprotunity." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 18 Apr.
2016.
Lam, Hon-Ming, Justin Remais, Ming-Chiu Fung, Liqing Xu, and Samuel Sai-Ming Sun. "Food
Supply and Food Safety Issues in China." Lancet. U.S. National Library of Medicine,
n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

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Work Cited
Richter, Carsten H., Benjamin Custer, Jennifer A. Steele, Bruce A. Wilcox, and Jianchu Xu.
"Intensified Food Production and Correlated Risks to Human Health in the Greater
Mekong Subregion: A Systematic Review."Environmental Health. BioMed Central, n.d.
Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"Chicken Lovers Beware: Breeders in India Use Antibiotics to Make Birds Fatter - Firstpost."
Firstpost Chicken Lovers Beware Breeders in India Use Antibiotics to Make Birds
Fatter Comments. N.p., 31 July 2014. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"Consumer Concerns about Hormones in Food." Consumer Concerns About Hormones in
Food. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"Are Antibiotics in Meat Bad for Humans?" CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"Hormones." GRACE Communications Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.