The table below shows the trend of onset age for puberty over a forty-year period. As you will see, with the increased use of hormones, the age for puberty onset has decreased:
Year(s) Age of Onset of Puberty
Note from T. Parker-Pope, Copyright 2009
Unfortunately, many of our foods today are monitored so liberally that the hormones used are almost overlooked in the United States, and the FDA has allowed these hormones, or variations of such, to be reintroduced into our diets.
The FDA plays a crucial role in mass production of poultry and foods, and with that Americans have allowed themselves to become comfortable with the processes used to manufacture foods such as poultry and dairy. The role of the FDA is to standardize and create regularity in the industry; however, the FDA has become very subdued when mandating what the appropriate level of hormones and additives is. "One area where the FDA has let the public down is in its refusal to adequately regulate the use of growth-promoting drugs in factory farms" ("The FDA," 2010, p. 1). The industry itself has become a cash cow on the backs of consumers by chemically enhancing our foods for the most dollar per pound, yet , where is the regulation for the for researching the effects and exactly what is being added to our foods? "The FDA's lack of testing for estrogenic compounds doesn't stop at additives. In 2008, an independent advisory board said the FDA ignored critical evidence concerning another estrogenic compound, bisphenol A, a plasticizing chemical found in polycarbonate baby bottles and the linings of metal foods cans" (Knoblauch, 2010, p. 1).