Diethylstilbestrol (DES), hexestrol and dienestrol (oestrogenic hormones) are collectively called stilbenes, which are banned worldwide for use in food producing animals. The stilbenes are growth promoting agents used in meat production. The use of anabolic agents has been banned within the European community since 1986, because of the potential risk to consumers from meat containing any residues. Stilbenes are also thought to be capable of initiating the carcinogenic process at small concentrations.
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