Green Buckeye RN

Grist: Court Rules rBGH-Free Milk *is* Better Than the Kind Produced With Artificial Hormones. Now What?
October 7, 2010, 7:43 am
Filed under: News

by Tom Laskawy, 6 Oct 2010 10:27 AM

Earlier this week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the state of Ohio’s ban on labels that identify milk as rBST- or rBGH-free, meaning produced without the use of artificial bovine growth hormone. Consumer and organic food groups were jubilant at the Ohio news, which may have far-reaching repercussions not only for all milk, but for genetically engineered foods.

First, some background: rBGH stands for recombinant bovine growth hormone; rBST for recombinant bovine somatotropin. Both are a genetically engineered variation on naturally occurring hormone that farmers inject into cows to increase milk production by as much as 10 percent. It has also been proven to increase the incidence of mastitis in cows, which as any breastfeeding mother knows is a painful condition requiring treatment by antibiotics — and indeed, rBGH use has also upped the use of antibiotics in dairy cattle.

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