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Are food manufacturers killing us with steroids, antibiotics, etc.?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,841 times Debate No: 53009
Debate Rounds (3)
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Food manufacturers are slowly killing us. There are more and more chemicals and preservatives being tested every day. Eventually, natural food will barely exist for our consumption.


I accept your challenge

I will prove that food manufacturers do not kill humans by adding Steroids, Antibiotics, and preservatives.

You claimed that "Eventually, natural food will barely exist for our consumption".
I would like to remind you that absence of natural food is a phenomenon prevalent in agricultural societies for thousands of years. Since ancient times food has being preserved through the winter periods using a variety of preservation techniques (smoking, salting, drying, pickling and others). I am sorry to ruin your fantasy but the absence of natural food is not a recent phenomenon.

The ingredients and chemicals that are allowed for use by the food industry are under strict control by government regulations. I will prove that companies that produce food lawfully have minimal risk of producing food that kills people with the chemichals you specified

This link is an up to date review on the status of steroids in food.
As you see. After some outbreaks at the late 20th century control on the use of hormones in the US is quite strict. It also notes that the hormone level is regulated in such a way that it does not go beyond what is the natural for the animal.
Even though the review admits that there is not enough evidence to decide that hormone levels is totally safe there is also no evidence that it causes cancer and kills people.
Therefore it is unlikely that food manufacturers kill people with steroids

Antibiotics have no direct effect in your health unless you are allergic to them.
The main problem with antibiotics is that overusing them may cause the development of drug resistant bacteria.
Antibiotics do not kill people.

Some preservatives have proved toxicity but they are still used anyway. The reason is that it has been proved that using the preservative will save more lives compared to the health hazard that the preservative itself poses.

I will use the example of nitrates to prove my point as it is quite well known subject and very easy to find info on it.
Nitrates are used in meat preservation in order to protect foods from clostridium botulinum, a bacteria that causes the deadly illness Botulism. Nitrates are known to be able to cause the formation carcinogenic compounds under certain conditions.

Now here is a simple epidemiological report of food borne botulism cases in the US.
As you see it takes special note that the problem is prevalent in Alaskan natives. That is because the Alaskan natives use the good old traditional preservation methods for their meats. They don't use Nitrates so they pay for it with their lives.
This is an excellent example were not using preservatives is what actually kills people. Botulism used to be a major food hazard throughout human history. However in the developed world is a very rare illness. Nitrates are a major contributor to that.
It seems that you underestimate the luxury of eating your sausages and your salami safely without worrying whether you are going to risk your life every time you take a bite.

You also tried to argue that chemicals in general added by food manufacturers kill people.
This is quite a broad term. Table salt is a chemical, Vitamin C is also a chemical. Please specify which chemicals you refer to.

I have now proved that antibiotics, steroids, and preservatives do not kill people.
On the other hand the absence of preservatives is what kills people.
Debate Round No. 1


Personally, I do not want to consume GMOs and preservatives. Do you think that processed foods are harming you at all?


"Do you think that processed foods are harming you at all".
Many preservation methods have negative health effects Not only modern high tech ones but even very old traditional preservation methods pose a health risk. Smoking for example is known for introducing carcinogenic compounds in the food product, salting also poses a health risk as salt increases blood pressure and I already wrote about the dangers of meat preservation in ambient temperatures in round 1.
It is also well known the many preservation methods reduce the nutritional value of the food.

However you have to remember though that people these days live in huge cities with millions of peoples in each city and are hundreds of miles away from the food producing areas. Food preservation is essential in as we move these foods from one place to another. Without food preservation we should be prepared to starve to death.

"Personally, I do not want to consume GMOs and preservatives"
Exactly because there are many people like you who feel uncomfortable in consuming "weird" chemicals that have not idea what they are food manufacturers are obliged to tell you what is in their foods. You now have the option to read the ingredients list and avoid buying what you feel uncomfortable with.
Your personal opinion though does not make all the substances you don't want dangerous.

Most off the things you worry about like GMOs, Steroids, and antibiotics are very tightly regulated and closely monitored by government agencies and the scientific community. They are approved because the data show that it is very unlikely to pose a serious health risk for the consumer.

If I was you I would worry more about having a balanced diet than the unknown chemical in my Potato chips.
Severe illness like Diabetes and heart disease are directly linked to human diet. Eating lots of potato chips is already harming your health. The unknown chemical inside is the least of your concerns.
Debate Round No. 2


graceek forfeited this round.


Kienzan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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