As reported by the BBC, a University of Rochester study found recently that men whose mothers ate lots of beef during their pregnancies had lower sperm counts than the sons of women who ate little or no beef while pregnant: Among sons of mothers who ate a lot of beef, 17.7 percent had a sperm concentration below the World Health Organization sub-fertility threshold of 20 million sperm per millilitre of seminal fluid. The figure for the sons of lower beef consumers was 5.7 percent. Lead researcher Professor Shanna Swan said the findings suggested that exposure to growth promoters contained in …
Get Grist in Your Inbox
Julia Olmstead is a graduate student in plant breeding and sustainable agriculture at Iowa State University and a graduate fellow with the Land Institute in Salina, Kan., and a freelance writer on agricultural and environmental issues.