Who invented growth hormones for livestock?
This is a difficult question to answer as multiple types of growth hormones are in use in the agricultural industry.
Bovine growth hormone is produced naturally in the body of cows, but in the 1970s the company Genentech discovered and patented a clone form of this hormone. In 1979 Monsanto partnered with Genentech to develop a recombinant form of the hormone, which essentially lengthens the shelf life and reduces the volume of the synthetic hormone. In 1994, Monsanto successfully launched their product Posilac, a recombinant form of the bovine growth hormone. Before the use of recombinant growth hormone, many farmers used growth hormones derived from the carcasses of cattle.
Currently, in the United States, there are no approved growth hormones for use in the raising of poultry, dairy cattle, or pigs. In the 1950s, the United States banned the use of growth hormones in the production of poultry, but prior to this time hormones like progesterone and estrogen were used to boost growth in chickens.
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