Female Babies in China Growing Breasts - Eat Drink Better

Female Babies in China Growing Breasts

babies in china growing breasts

Yes, this is as disturbing as it sounds — infants in China really have started growing breasts.

This may not be a big shocker for those who have followed the effects of bovine growth hormones over the years. But it is certainly very sad news. And a wake-up call to us all, especially those living in the United States.

Medical tests on these 4- to 15-month-old babies that are growing breasts found that estrogen levels in them were as high as in adult women, according to China Daily. And the evidence clearly pointed to that being due to the infant formula.

Synutra, the company that makes the baby formula, however, says: “no man-made hormones or any illegal substances were added during the production of the milk powder.”

A Chinese dairy association says there is no reason to doubt them, because the hormones probably came from the cows (which were fed hormones to make them grow faster).

“Since a regulation forbidding the use of hormones to cultivate livestock has yet to be drawn up in China,” says Wang Dingmian, the former chairman of the dairy association in the southern province of Guangdo, “it would be lying to say nobody uses it.”

This is what they do in China, and… this is what they do in the U.S.

History of Extremely Early Breast Growth from Bovine Growth Hormones

This is not the first story about extremely early breast growth and puberty arising from the use of bovine growth hormones. John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America, writes this on The Huffington Post:

In the 1980s, doctors in Puerto Rico began encountering cases of precocious puberty. There were four-year-old girls with fully developed breasts. There were three-year old girls with pubic hair and vaginal bleeding. There were one-year-old girls who had not yet begun to walk but whose breasts were growing.

Writing a few years later in the Journal of the Puerto Rico Medical Association, Dr. Carmen A. Saenz explained the cause. “It was clearly observed in 97 percent of the cases that the appearance of abnormal breast tissue was…related to local whole milk in the infants.”

The problem was traced, and found to stem from the misuse of hormones in dairy cows. When Dr. Saenz was asked how she could be certain the babies and children were contaminated with hormones from milk rather than from some other source, she replied simply: “When we take our young patients off… fresh milk, their symptoms usually regress.”

And it wasn’t just the females. Young boys were also affected. Many had to have surgery to deal with breasts that had become grossly swollen.

I remember hearing about this story as a kid. My mom told me about it to explain why we got organic milk and dairy. Unfortunately, the U.S. (unlike most other countries) hasn’t learned much since then.

“Along with China, the U.S. is today one of the few countries in the world that still allows bovine growth hormones to be injected into dairy cows. Though banned in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe, the use of these hormones in U.S. dairy is not only legal, it’s routine in all 50 states.”

If you’re interested in avoiding problems associated with bovine growth hormone consumption, and you live in the US, you may want to avoid non-organic dairy. Or, here’s another reason to eat vegan altogether.

Personally, I wonder if this is part of the reason why there is such an obesity epidemic in the U.S.

If you’re interested in reading more on the scientific studies around bovine growth hormones, visit Robbins’ post, “Female Infants Growing Breasts: Another Disaster From Hormones in Milk Production.”

Photo Credit: Wesley Oostvogels via flickr

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.
  • When did we stop being human. "To make a better product something has got to be sacrificed" That something, so happens to be us the Humans. A steady increase in heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure,clotting disorder,obesity,kidney disorders, adhd and cancers of all sorts.Who do we blame first and so on. Let start with our Government USDA. We can point fingers all day , simply put stop the hormones, let us live.

    • amy

      I agree! this has nothing to do with obesity, how poor someone is, or what is being exported or imported from china or where ever! this all has to do with we humans standing up and fighting against the companies producing substandard products by using cheap materials, additives, and whatever else to save a penny! when we start protesting, and standing up for humankind then maybe we’ll see a change. Not only are the growth hormones to blame for the babies in China but also for the early development of our own children here in America! are we so blind as to not see the same freaking problem happening in our own country!? grwoth hormones, cloned animal meat, controlled and genetically modified seeds! good GOD! wake up people and start demanding a change! one person can’t do it alone!

      At least the citizens in China and the UK are taking a stand against these corporations by enforcing their demands! (see the article on BBC about the clone meat that was secretly shipped into the UK from Texas!!!!) are we going to continue to sit back and allow the crooks to rule our lives!?

  • Frightening. And so many laugh off the "hippies" with their organic milk.

    • Zach

      so true

  • Zachary, glad to see you reblog John's writing! But, you should include a link to his website or blog in your post: http://www.johnrobbins.info/

    John's previous article The Darkside of Vitaminwater, made the front page of digg.com, reddit.com and Huffington Post's top ten most popular posts: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-robbins/the-da

    • Zach

      i didn't visit his website, & think it would be a little busy up in that one line linking to his page, his article, and his book. but thank you for sharing this link here.

  • What the hell!

    And people say I'm a nut when I question what our government does, when I have all the reason to question what is going on!

    They downplay everything and make it seem like it's [startling findings] are based on inconclusive studies, when in fact, they know the truth and could care less that they are "poisoning" us.

    When babies begin to hit puberty because of hormones allowed here in the US, it truly does make you wonder what else they are putting in our food supply that could be causing other health issues. (e.g. Obesity, diabetes,stunted growth and heart conditions)

  • I would like to say that it is more than likely obesity causing the early "coming of age" rather than just the dairy alone. Your body, especially females, comes of age when it can support the process of carrying and having a baby. When your body mass reaches a certain point then the body naturally triggers that process. On a healthy normal sized child who is not overweight and eats healthy it is the teens…for those living off unhealthy food and are overweight it is sooner.

    Its all about body mass!

    • Zach

      but what about the boys in Puerto Rico?

    • stephanie

      so why did my step daughter "come of age" at 10 without an ounce of fat on her?

  • Nursing mothers and parents generally should be encouraged to have at least 6months of whole breast milk after birth and up to 2 years of breast feeding for their babies to reduce this epidemic. I think you will now see the reason why the emerging economies have more healthy children than the developed nations.

  • rumio

    It's not something permanent. Usually the symptoms subside when patients are taken off from the culprit diet. But I believe effects of prolonged usage of such diet may not be reversed. Usage of hormones for livestock must be stopped in every country.

  • writinginoxford

    Disturbing. I'm not saying that artificial hormones in cows are not a problem, but there are hormones in moms too…and it's not all that uncommon for newborn babies to have breastbuds…
    http://www.drgreene.com/qa/infant-breast-buds

  • well i think it is very shockin 2 know dat they have actual breast, but through science u learn more about the causes,symptoms,side effects and also the pain and frustration about how they r going to live with this for the rest of their lives and how their family are coping with the situation and dealing with it. But it is difficult to know the struggle ur child is going true and thinkin about the way it can affect them mentally and emotionally.And these mother need to stop giving these babies organic milk and start breast feeding ur child man!!!!!!!!. Parents put an action or a piece of u in ur childs future and parents play a good rule in being a parent and doing wats best for ur child and start action now!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Our increased soy intake plays no small part either. Soy is estrogenic and should not be eaten unless naturally fermented – and even then in small amounts. Soy is in everything these days. Blecht.

  • Pingback: Female Infants Growing Breasts: Another Disaster From Hormones in Milk Production | Cameroonwebnews| Site d’information et d’opinions sur l’actualité du Cameroun()

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  • Infants growing breast in China really isn’t shocking when you consider the source of the products creating this biological condition. The United States has allowed China to import its crappy products into our country virtually unchecked. Remember the plastics in the milk formula and dangerous animal foods that hit our markets. Unfortunately, a lot of this poison is sold to poor people at low-end American retail stores (Dollar Store; 99 Cent Store, etc.) What’s shocking is how our government sold us out to China allowing that country to steal our technology, take over our manufacturing, take our jobs, poison our foods and accumulate trillions of our dollars. We have been sold out big time.

  • Zachary, I suspect the same thing. Between the growth hormones, limited supply of money to buy healthy foods & sometimes limited access to it if money is available we have an epidemic. When you add to that convenience, lack of exercise & abundance of sedentary activities then it’s no wonder obesity is on the rise. I’m slowly working my way to buying all organic since I don’t have time to grow my own but the nearest store is well over an hour away. It’s up to the consumer to take action & unfortunately many are parents who are unaware of this problem or feel they have no other alternatives available to them. Thanks for sharing this article-it was quite informative.

  • Guy that formulated this, was executed.

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