25th June 2010, Volume 123 Number 1317

Michael Brooks; for the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand

From time to time, the poultry industry in New Zealand is the subject of a recurring urban myth about the use of growth-promoting hormones in chickens causing side effects in humans.

The fact is that growth-promoting hormones are not used in the New Zealand poultry industry and have been the subject of an industry-wide policy against their use for more than 30 years. In fact, ours is the only meat processing industry that is routinely testing for introduced hormones. They have never been detected in New Zealand-produced poultry meat.

So we were a little surprised to see a medical professional quoted in the Southland Times and the Christchurch Press as saying that hormones in chicken meat were a likely cause of the increase in demand for breast reduction surgery among New Zealand men.

Whatever the cause for that increase in demand, it’s not our chickens, and we’d appreciate your readers being made aware of the facts. And you can’t blame imported poultry meat either.

New Zealand’s poultry industry is unique in that we are free of the three main poultry diseases that afflict and devastate flocks around the world. To protect that status, our borders are closed to the import of fresh and frozen poultry meat and eggs.

If you see raw or frozen poultry meat in your supermarket, medical professionals and consumers alike can rest assured that there are no added hormones.

Michael Brooks
Executive Director
Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand

Author Information

Michael Brooks, Executive Director, Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand, Auckland