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Facts, it's what's for dinner Special To The Star-news | Sat, Apr 09 2011 12:00 PM

 A recent Harris Interactive poll revealed that some myths about meat have been popularized in books and movies and have taken hold among consumers-but these myths have little basis in fact. Here's a look at the truth:

Myth: Hormone use in poultry and pork production is a health concern.

Fact: Federal law prohibits hormone use in poultry and in pig production. They are not used to produce chicken, turkeys or pigs - ever - in the United States.

Myth: It's best to get hormone-free beef.

Fact: All living things - plants and animals - naturally produce hormones. While meat can be produced without added hormones, it cannot be "hormone free." Hormones such as estrogen used to make some cattle add weight and produce meat faster is used at levels that are a fraction of what is found in cabbages and soybeans or what the human body produces naturally. Experts say beef produced with or without added hormones is safe and nutritious.

Myth: Antibiotic use in livestock production is a health concern.

Fact: Antibiotics are given to livestock for the same reasons they are given to people: to help treat and prevent disease. They are regulated and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, administered under the supervision of veterinarians and must clear an animal's system prior to harvest.

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