Your Milk on Drugs
The Dangers of rBGH in Dairy Products
Although banned in most other industrialized nations due to the health risks to humans and harm to the animals, Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) is still injected into dairy cows in the US to increase milk-production.
So why was rBGH approved for use in the US? The approval of rBGH in our country is a story of fired whistleblowers, manipulated research, and a corporate takeover of the US Food and Drug Administration. US dairies responding to the health concerns of consumers by not injecting their herds, now battle with Monsanto for their right to label their milk as rBGH-free. For those familiar with the history of this controversial drug, and Monsanto, this is no surprise. Monsanto’s controversial past is plagued with toxic disasters, lawsuits and cover-ups.
Your Milk on Drugs - Just Say No!
Own this eye-opening documentary on the hazards of milk containing rBGH which includes footage from a news series prepared for a Florida Fox TV station canceled after they received a letter from Monsanto’s attorney threatening “dire consequences.
The Health Hazards in Milk from Cows injected with rBGH
Milk from rBGH-treated cows has much higher levels of IGF-1, a hormone considered to be a high risk factor for breast, prostate, colon, lung, and other cancers. IGF-1 levels in milk from treated cows with rBGH can be up to 10 times higher. Studies suggest that pre-menopausal women below 50 years old with high levels of IGF-1 are seven times more likely to develop breast cancer. Men are four times more likely to develop prostate cancer. IGF-1 is implicated in lung and colon cancer.
Milk from rBGH-treated cows with its heightened IGF-1 levels also likely increases the rate of fraternal twin births in humans. In the United States, the number of fraternal twins grew at twice the rate as that in the United Kingdom, where rBGH is banned.
Milk from cows injected with rBGH also has lowered nutritional value, increased antibiotics and more pus from infected udders. Cows given rBGH experience higher rates of mastitis, a painful udder infection. When treated with antibiotics that are also used for people, bacteria resistant to these antibiotics end up in the milk, air, soil and water, resulting in increased antibiotic resistance in humans, a major health problem.
Dairies Responding to Consumer Concerns are Running Away from rBGH
Within the US, many school systems have banned milk products from injected cows and dairies have refused to inject their cow with it. But a milk carton from Maine’s Oakhurst Dairy stating, “Our Farmers’ Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones” became the subject of controversy when on July 3, 2003 the dairy was sued by Monsanto over their labels. Oakhurst eventually settled, agreeing to add a sentence saying that according to the FDA no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from [rBGH]-treated and non- treated cows. But it’s a statement that is not true. Both Monsanto and FDA scientists had acknowledged the increase of IGF-1 in milk from treated cows. Higher amounts of pus and antibiotic residues in the milk were noted are as well. This misleading addition to the label was written by the FDA’s deputy commissioner of policy, Michael Taylor, previously Monsanto’s outside attorney who, after running policy at the FDA, became vice president of Monsanto. Could this revolving door between Monsanto and the government regulators (i.e. the movement from positions as biotech leaders to government policymaker and back again) be the one of the reasons why the FDA isn’t protecting US consumers?
Monsanto and the FDA
In the late 1980s, one FDA scientist was fired after expressing concerns about possible health problems related to dairy products from rBGH-treated cows. Other like-minded FDA scientists at the FDA had been stripped of responsibilities or forced out. Remaining FDA whistle-blowers had to write an anonymous letter to Congress, complaining of fraud and conflict of interest at the agency. In 1998, six Canadian government scientists testified before their Senate that they were being pressured by superiors to approve rBGH, even though they believed it was unsafe. They also testified that documents were stolen from a locked file cabinet and that Monsanto offered them a bribe of $1-2 million to approve the drug. Monsanto responded to the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) story about the alleged bribe, claiming that the scientists misunderstood an offer for research money. (Eventually in 2005, Monsanto was fined for offering bribes to 140 Indonesians, as the company tried to gain approval for their genetically modified cotton.)