The case of diethylstilbestrol treated veal contained in homogenized baby-foods in Italy

Methodological and toxicological aspects, 1984


From previous studies carried out in the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Roma over the years 1979-1980, it was hypothesized that calf meat-derived, homogenized and lyophilized baby food might contain high doses of compounds endowed with oestrogenic actiuity.

Thus, analytical investigations performed on 450 samples of commercial baby-food products, showed that 150 of them contained a powerful oestrogenic substance, later on identified as diethylstilbestrol (DES), in high amount (20 to 140 ug/kg food).

Since meat from calves illegally treated with xenobiotic drugs having hormonal activity generally contains modest yet potentially dangerous levels of such compounds (in the range 0.1 to 2 ug/kg meat), it was derived that the elevated DES levels in homogenized products could be originated from working plout or injectable preparation DES residues, given to animals as auxin.

Similar considerations are advanced to explain the etiopathogenesis of gynoecomastia, early pseudopuberty, or troubles in the sex organs of school-age children described in Italy as well as in other countries during these later years.


  • The case of diethylstilbestrol treated veal contained in homogenized baby-foods in Italy. Methodological and toxicological aspects, Annali dell’Istituto superiore di sanita, NCBI PubMed PMID: 6549589, 1984.
  • Vintage ad Gerbers baby food meat credit envisioningtheamericandream.

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