Yesterday I mentioned rBGH in my post. Here are some more thoughts on that topic.
Conventional milk (non-organic) and milk not labeled “rBGH-free” or “rBST-free” are likely produced with the assistance of rBST. Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) is also known as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH.) This artificial growth hormone was developed by Monsanto (and now owned by Eli Lilly) using recombinant DNA technology. It is designed to increase milk production in dairy cows. The increased milk production dramatically increases incidents of udder infections. This consequently increases the amount of pus in milk (yum!) and use of antibiotics to treat the infections. But that’s just the beginning.
There are concerns regarding human health, specifically cancer, resulting from consumption of milk from rBST-treated cows. The synthetic hormone rBST elevates IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) in milk. Elevated levels of IGF-1 in humans have been linked to breast, colon, and prostate cancer in numerous studies. These studies must be quite compelling; the European Union, Canada, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand have all banned rBST.
This is in stark contrast to the FDA’s complacency. The FDA approved the unlabeled use of rBST in 1993.
Just like with high fructose corn syrup, we also need to look at the motivations for producing and selling artificial growth hormone. Are we not producing enough milk? No, in fact, last year production far exceeded demand. The USDA stepped in and subsidized the export of 92,000 metric tons of dairy product. In other words, first BigAg profits from the sale of rBST to farmers, which contributes to the overproduction of dairy products, which then induces the government to rescue dairy farmers with taxpayer dollars. Does this make any sense??