We understand your interest in knowing how your food is grown and raised and want to give you the information you need to feel good about your beef choices.

Learn more about Zilmax® below

What is Zilmax?

Zilmax (zilpaterol hydrochloride) is an FDA-approved supplement for cattle that has been used by cattle farmers globally for nearly two decades. It improves cattle's natural ability to convert feed into more lean beef1,2,3 that is consistently flavorful, tender and juicy.4,5

Working with their cattle nutritionists, farmers feed Zilmax to cattle for a short period of time when they become less efficient at metabolizing their feed, and typically gain excess fat. Helping cattle make the most of what they eat means cattle farmers use fewer natural resources while raising beef6 that:

  • Is flavorful, tender and juicy4,5
  • Is an affordable choice for you and your family7

Why is Zilmax needed?

Farmers use Zilmax to help cattle make the most of what they eat. They feed Zilmax to cattle for a short period of time when they become less efficient at metabolizing their feed, and typically gain excess fat. It helps improve cattle's natural ability to convert feed into more lean beef.1,2,3

Zilmax isn't fed to all cattle. Cattle farmers work with their nutritionists to make individual, well-informed decisions about the cattle for which Zilmax is a good fit. Helping cattle make the most of what they eat means cattle farmers can raise the beef you enjoy as an affordable choice for you and your family.7

Zilmax also helps conserve our natural resources6. Helping cattle convert feed into more lean beef1,2,3 instead of fat means more beef from fewer animals. Fewer cattle = less land, less water, less energy and less waste.8 This means farmers are conserving natural resources while shrinking the carbon footprint of beef.8

Is Zilmax safe for me and my family?

Yes. The FDA and other worldwide regulatory agencies have reviewed comprehensive data on the use of Zilmax in cattle and concluded that, when used according to label directions, the beef from cattle fed Zilmax is safe to eat and poses no safety risk to humans.1

In addition, more than 30 years of research and development, as well as rigorous testing, further support the safety of Zilmax.

Does Zilmax change the quality or taste of my beef?

No. Beef from cattle fed Zilmax is consumer tested and consumer approved. In the largest grilled steak taste-test study ever, 14 out of 15 consumers rated beef from cattle fed Zilmax as flavorful, tender and juicy4,5 - the same consumer acceptability as beef from cattle that were not fed Zilmax. This university study and subsequent consumer tests have reinforced that finding.3

Is Zilmax safe for the cattle?

Yes. After evaluating the results of numerous animal safety and well-being studies, the FDA and other international scientific authorities approved Zilmax as a safe and effective feed supplement for cattle.1 Scientific experts also have examined cattle behavior, including how they eat, how they move, whether they are stressed or in pain, and results of those studies showed Zilmax does not affect their well-being.1,9,10,11,12,13,14

Is Zilmax a hormone?

No. Zilmax is an FDA-approved supplement that enables cattle to improve their natural ability to convert feed into beef, instead of fat.1

How is Zilmax given to cattle and how does it work?

Zilmax is a supplement that is mixed in the cattle's feed. It is fed to cattle for a short period of time when they become less efficient at metabolizing their feed, and typically gain excess fat.

Cattle farmers work with their nutritionists to make individual, well-informed decisions about the cattle for which Zilmax is a good fit. Zilmax helps cattle make the most of what they eat, improving their natural ability to convert feed into beef1,2,3 that is flavorful, tender and juicy.4,5

When the feed containing Zilmax is consumed, it attaches to a specific beta receptor on muscle tissue, much like fitting a key into a lock. This signals the muscle to use the energy from the feed to make more lean beef instead of excess fat.

How long has Zilmax been used?

Cattle farmers have used Zilmax for nearly two decades in other countries and in the United States since 2007, following FDA approval. It has a history of more than 30 years of research and development, and rigorous testing.

How does Zilmax help the environment?

Zilmax helps cattle make the most of their feed, which means farmers can raise more beef with fewer cattle. Fewer cattle = less land, less water, less energy and less waste.8 With just one bag of Zilmax, farmers can raise enough beef to meet the annual demand of more than 100 people.15 That same bag also enables them to conserve 41,567 gallons of water - a day's worth of drinking water for 80,000 people.15

Who benefits from the use of Zilmax?

We all do. Zilmax provides value from the farmer to the consumer and helps farmers conserve natural resources6 while raising beef that is:

  • Flavorful, tender and juicy4,5
  • An affordable choice for you and your family7

References

  1. FDA. 2006. Freedom of information summary. Original new animal drug application NADA 141-258. Zilmax (zilpaterol hydrochloride) Type A medicated article for cattle fed in confinement for slaughter. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AnimalVeterinary/Products/ApprovedAnimalDrugProducts/FOIADrugSummaries/ucm051412.pdf. Accessed Apr. 26, 2007.
  2. Hilton, G. G., Garmyn, A. J., Lawrence, T. E., Miller, M. F. Brooks, J. C., Montgomery, T. H., Griffin, D. B., VanOverbeke, D. L., Elam, N. A., Nichols, W. T., Streeter, M. N., Hutcheson, J. P., Allen, D. M., and Yates, D. A. 2010. Effect of zilpaterol hydrochloride supplementation on cutability and subprimal yield of beef steer carcasses. Journal of Animal Science 88:1817-1822
  3. Boler, D. D., Holmer, S. F., McKeith, F. K., Killefer, J., VanOverbeke, D. L., Hilton, G. G., Delmore, R. J., Beckett, J. L., Brooks, J. C., Miller, R. K., Griffin, D. B., Savell, J. W., Lawrence, T. E., Elam, N. A., Streeter, M. N., Nichols, W. T., Hutcheson, J. P., Yates, D. A., and Allen, D. M. 2009. Effects of feeding zilpaterol hydrochloride for twenty to forty days on carcass cutability and subprimal yield of calf-fed Holstein steers. Journal of Animal Science 87:3722-3729.
  4. Mehaffey, J. M., Brooks, J. C., Rathmann, R. J., Alsup, E. A., Hutcheson, J. P., Nichols, W. T., Streeter, M. N., Yates, D. A., Johnson, B. J., and Miller, M. F. 2009. Effect of feeding zilpaterol hydrochloride to beef and calf-fed Holstein cattle on consumer palatability ratings. Journal of Animal Science 87:3712-3721.
  5. Hilton, G. G., Montgomery, J. L., Krehbiel, C. R., Yates, D. A., Hutcheson, J. P., Nichols, W. T., Streeter, M. N., Blanton, Jr., J. R., and Miller, M. F. 2009. Effects of feeding zilpaterol hydrochloride with and without monensin and tylosin on carcass cutability and meat palatability of beef steers. Journal of Animal Science 87:1394-1406.
  6. Capper , J. L.and Hayes, D. J. 2012. The environmental and economic impact of removing growth-enhancing technologies from United States beef production. Journal of Animal Science 90:3527-3537.
  7. Elam, T. E., and Preston, R. L., 2004. Fifty years of pharmaceutical technology and its impact on the beef we provide to consumers. http://www.hudson.org/files/publications/Elam%20--%20Pharm%20Tech%20and%20Beef%20--%208-04.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2013
  8. Capper, J. L., The environmental impact of beef production in the United States: 1977 compared with 2007. Journal of Animal Science 2011, 89:4249-4261.
  9. Data on file.
  10. Unpublished data on file.
  11. Unpublished data on file.
  12. Wahrmund, J. L., Holland, B. P., Krehbiel, C. R., VanOverbeke, D. L., and Richards, C. L.. 2009. Zilpaterol hydrochloride impact on core body temperature, performance, and carcass characteristics in finishing beef steers. Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station. http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/oldsite/research/research-reports-1/2009/013%20Wahrmund%20Zilpaterol%20beef%20report%20-%20final.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2013.
  13. Mader, T. 2012. Animal Welfare Concerns in the Feedlot (Environmental x management interactions). Beef Production Technology Forum. Summer NCBA Conference.
  14. Unpublished data on file.
  15. Estimates based on research trial outcomes, data on file.