Eating catfish, chicken reared with growth hormones can cause cancers, drug resistance –Experts
Scientists have cautioned against the use of banned hormonal growth promoters in rearing animals for human consumption, noting that eating such foods can cause drug resistance and cancers in humans.
According to the scientists, while the negative health effects of eating animals reared with hormonal growth promoters might not be immediate, they could become visible in the long run.
The experts, a former president of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, Mr. Adeoye Adetoyi, and veterinary doctors, George Chidozie and Oluwaseun Ayepada, urged relevant regulatory agencies to stop the use of those outlawed growth promoters in rearing animals in Nigeria.
Adetoyi said the use of hormonal growth promoters in breeding animals has been banned in the country because they are not safe for use in animals to be consumed by humans.
He, however, noted that despite the ban, some people persist in using them to rear animals.
Also speaking , Chidozie, a veterinary doctor based in Abia state noted that the consumption of animals reared with hormonal growth promoters poses grave dangers to the consumers.
He said, “Those using hormonal growth promoters in animals are risking the lives of the consumers. It is not advisable for human consumption.
“Those antibiotics have been banned for use in animals. If the antibiotics and some other medications that are intended for human use are used on the livestock, the major long-term effect is that these chemicals or drugs will be stuck in the tissues of those animals and when humans consume them, they end up consuming different residues from the meat and as a human being, when you use similar drugs, you begin to develop resistance to such drugs.
“Most notable is that some of them begin to form radical cells in the system of humans and these radical cells start forming tumours and cancers. That is why they shouldn’t be used in products meant for human consumption.”
Also speaking with our correspondent, Ayepada said unsuspecting consumers who regularly consume catfish bred with hormonal drugs are at risk of developing cancer in the future.
He said, “Growth hormones are banned but some animal farmers still use them, especially in the production of fish.
“When it comes to catfish, the male fish are bigger than females because of that some farmers would want their fish to have an average size and to achieve this, they use growth hormones on them.
Continuing, he said, “In spite of the good result people get, it does not compare to the bad result it gives because these growth hormones, when consumed in large quantities, increase the endocrine hormones and the long-term effect is cancer.
“Those who consume it in large quantities come down with cancer and those hormones are the major cause of cancer in humans.”
Also, a former executive of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science who wished to remain anonymous advised strongly against the use of the banned growth promoters.
According to the former NIAS executive, rather than use the banned growth promoters, farmers should use probiotics and prebiotics which are the recommended products in rearing animals.
He said, “Growth promoters have been outlawed because some of those growth promoters have effects on human beings, the consumers.
“There’s a legislation that bars the use of growth promoters and people are not using it as they used to. The majority of the people are no longer using growth promoters.
“The same thing goes for chicken, there are some growth promoters that affect the consumers in the long run.
“On the contrary, what we now use is probiotics and prebiotics which modify the environment of the stomach of the animal that will promote the growth of bacteria that are positive and will not have an effect on human beings.”