Wow – think twice before you eat that delicious taco/burrito/quesadilla south of the border. And one has to wonder if steroid and other drug use in farm animals is much better in the U.S. Tim Johnson reveals the ugly truth about the meat we eat, for McLatchy News via The Miami Herald:
CELAYA, Mexico — Positive drug tests for five standout members of Mexico’s national soccer team have forced Mexican officials to acknowledge a problem that goes far beyond sports: Much of Mexico’s beef is so tainted with the steroid clenbuterol that it sickens hundreds of people each year.
Use of the steroid is illegal. But it’s found a niche among ranchers, who marvel at the way it helps cattle build muscle mass before going to the slaughterhouse. The beef is pink and largely free of layers of fat, winning over unwitting consumers.
Ranchers call the powdery substance “miracle salts.” A few call it “cattle cocaine.”
Whatever name is used, the substance has unpleasant side effects for human beings. Last year, 297 people felt sick enough after eating tainted meat to visit hospital emergency rooms. Many more just endured the symptoms.
“It happened to me,” said Raúl Martínez, a third-generation butcher in this dairy and cattle region of central Mexico. “When I fell ill, my heart started to race, and I got the shakes.”
The use of clenbuterol and the subject of steroid-tainted meat surged into headlines in Mexico last week when Mexico’s Soccer Federation announced the positive tests for the five players…
[continues at McLatchy News via The Miami Herald]