Monday, September 24, 2007

Would You Like Hormones With Your Milk?

The U.S. is one of few industrialized countries that allows rBGH (produced by Monsanto) in dairy products for human consumption. For over 10 years, rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), also known as rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin), has been a staple in the dairy products consumed by Americans. Since these products are not labeled as containing rBGH / rBST, most consumers have no idea that a growth hormone intended to induce dairy cows to be more productive is in much of their milk, cheese, and yogurt. There may be a link between consuming these products and in the growth of cancers of the breast, prostate and colon and researchers are now questioning the link between milk and other health problems. However, at this time, the long-term effect on infants, children, and adults consuming rBGH milk is unknown.

In August, two important announcements were made regarding bovine growth hormones in our milk and dairy products. First, Starbucks announced that by the end of 2007, "all fluid milk, half and half, whipping cream, and eggnog used in U.S. company-operated stores will be produced without the use of rBGH." Second, the NYTimes reports that the FTC rejected a request from Monsanto to prevent dairy companies from advertising their milk products as hormone-free. Both are steps in the right direction!

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