No steroid hormone of any kind is approved for use in chicken or pork in the U.S., and no one is interested in using them, anyway.
Okay. Don't believe idle statements on the Internet.
(Beef is a different story.)
Growth hormone in chicken is a very persistent myth, for some easily understood reasons. One is that medical societies and even WHO made ignorant pleas to stop their use when they weren't being used at all. Another is that, because the falsehood was appearing so frequently, some companies started advertising that they used no hormones, and that made some people believe the other growers must be using them. (Do you still beat your wife?)
Growth hormones are proteins. They can't be ingested and do anything, because they will be digested. They must be injected, and even that doesn't work in young chickens. They tried it. They injected chickens three times a day for the first 24 days and had pretty much no effect.* You've seen that with athletes. It's always a story of a trainer injecting the player, never of pills. Had it been pills, many would not have been discovered. Want to try injecting several thousand chickens at least once a day?
And growth hormones are simply not useful in chickens. Chickens have a short cycle from birth to reproductive age, so you can selectively breed very quickly. They're only alive for 40 days or so before slaughter. In a chicken already bred for rapid growth, an effective dose of growth hormone would just kill a lot of them and might well introduce behavioral problems into an already difficult environment. It's been way too easy to bulk up chickens by feeding, nutrient supplements, breeding, and limiting activity. It hasn't produced a tastier chicken - quite the opposite - but it's produced a bigger chicken.
It would really dumb to put all you're eggs in the growth hormone basket when you can just breed strains for the traits you want and go on reproducing them forever for no further cost.
* W.H. BURKE, J.A. MOORE, J.R. OGEZ and S.E. BUILDER
- Author Affiliations
Department of Poultry Science, University of Georgia (W.H.B.) Athens, Georgia 30602
Genentech, Inc. (J.A.M., J.R.O., S.E.B.) South San Francisco, CA 94080
"Within 60 min after sc injection of rcGH (480–960 μg/kg) in chickens, plasma GH levels increased 4- to 6-fold and remained significantly elevated for at least 5 h. Thrice-daily injections from age 2–24 days had little effect on growth or feed consumption in either male or female broiler chicks. Plasma levels of insulin and triglycerides were significantly elevated by rcGH in 24-day-old females, but not in males. Injection of rcGH counteracted a reduction of tibia length observed in saline-injected controls. The rcGH had no effect on carcass protein, ash content, or nitrogen retention.
"It is important to note that exogenous GH can be a productivity- enhancing factor in other commercially important species. Administration of bovine GH to cows has been shown to induce a significant increase in milk production (28). This study shows that administration Of rcGH to chickens can lead to some significant metabolic effects. However, it is the conclusion of this report that the level of circulating GH is not the limiting factor in the growth of this highly selected species." (Endocrinology 120: 651–658,1987)
(rcGH is recombinant chicken growth hormone.)
In another study, an elaborate continuous IV setup only succeeded in adding some body fat.