Aus: Chicken and hormones – the myth persists

15-10-2010 | | |

A new survey reveals the majority of Australians (78.6%) wrongly believe that meat chickens are fed hormones or steroids. Only 8.8% of people surveyed correctly believe that the chicken meat industry does not use such chemicals.

“The simple fact is that meat chickens reared in Australia are not given any hormones or steroids”, said Dr Andreas Dubs, Executive Director of the Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF).

No added hormones or steroids have been used in chicken meat production in this country for almost half a century. The practice is banned in Australia and is strictly enforced.

”Australian chickens do grow faster and bigger than they did 50 years ago, but most of this is due to conventional selective breeding. Improvements in growth are also a result of improved chicken nutrition. Thus, in the words of one of our main processors, the short answer is: ‘better bred, better fed’.”

“The precise profile of nutrients that a chicken needs at each stage of its development has been studied extensively. Feeds can therefore be formulated to match the chicken’s precise nutritional requirements throughout its lifecycle, therefore optimising growth.”

“Other gains made in the performance and productivity of chicken flocks are due to better husbandry techniques and health management,” Dr Dubs added.

“Consumers can be absolutely confident that all chicken, whether sold in the supermarket, the butcher, the delicatessen, the take-away shop, the quick service restaurant or the high end restaurant, is produced to the highest standard in Australia,” Dr Dubs concluded.