It was a full day of top quality speakers and presentations Thursday for Day 1 of the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference in Saskatoon.

One of the keynote speakers was Dr. Joe Schwarz from McGill University in Montreal is an expert is ''demystifying science and separating sense from nonsense".

A marketing campaign by a popular Canadian burger chain saying its beef is raised without the use of hormones or steroids angered a lot of beef producers:

"It's very seductive marketing to say that you have hormone-free meat," he said. "This is just a travesty because it's scientifically incorrect to suggest that animals that are raised having 'artificial' hormones that their meat is any different from the conventional variety. It isn't because the law says that you cannot have any artificial hormones residue in the meat."

Dr. Schwarz says every animal has natural hormones, adding that growth hormones in beef production undergo rigorous testing before approval.

"When any such thing, gets approved by the government, the people who are promoting this have to submit all kinds of data to Health Canada, other agencies to show that the benefits greatly outway to risk," he said. "This is not a question of some producer saying, 'you know, I want to pump hormones into my animal,' there are regulations about how much and of course about residues, and there can be residues."

Dr. Schwarz is the director of the University of McGill's Office for Science and Society, which is dedicated to demystifying science for the public.

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