Schools Training

Hoofless Cattle: Merck Claims no Link to Growth Stimulant

16 JAN 2014
Career Path : Healthcare

This week, the AAPS blog focuses on Zilmax, a controversial feed additive produced by Merck. The growth stimulant is used by cattle producers interested in maximizing the meat yield of their animals. Many consumers reject this type of unnaturally conceived fare, and in recent years have become increasingly vocal about the risks and moral implications of tampering with our food supply. The blog post, Hoofless Cattle: Merck Claims no Link to Growth Stimulant, observes that

The excessive use of pesticides, the unhealthy – even deadly – side effects of hormone injected cattle, and the implications of genetically modified produce; all reasons many of us have gone organic, willing to spend extra on free-range and all-natural. Last year, cattle producers joined the chorus, taking aim at pharma giant Merck when its growth stimulant Zilmax allegedly caused disastrous side effects. Merck denies there is any clinical research to validate the claims and is currently strategizing a market re-launch of the drug.

The post explains that although Merck refuses to accept responsibility for the impacts of Zilmax, cattle producers are resisting the drug after observing hoofless cattle, increases in cases of pneumonia, and numerous animal fatalities. One can only wonder, if growth stimulants like Zilmax impact cattle this way, what might they do to humans? Several countries around the world, including China, have similar concerns and have banned meat from cattle exposed to the drug. Cattle processors like Tyson and Cargill say they will not use Zilmax again – not until its safety is conclusively proved.