The hormonal anabolic preparations currently used provide an effective means of increasing the efficiency of beef production. However, knowledge of their precise mode of action at molecular and supramolecular levels remains incomplete. Major disadvantages include their broad-based effects on nonmeat tissues and potential for adverse biological activity of residues. Concerns about misuse may be addressed by systems for random testing and traceability of source of beef product. Current methods for assessing risk for human consumers, for example, in determining non receptor-mediated effects, appear inadequate. The absorption from meat of naturally occurring hormones that produce systemic concentrations considerably less than those present endogenously presents a limited hazard. However, for these and xenobiotics, what is needed is quantitative risk assessment based on the ''molecular materiality'' of the additional residue intake and utilizing principles of quantitative chemical and biological stoichiometry to assess responses in biological

test systems.1

A continuing focus on the contribution of excretory sex hormone products to human and animal health appears relevant in the context of justification of agricultural practices in human society.

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