Monday, November 22, 2010

Bad news and good news

Milk that contains recombinant bovine growth hormone (rGBH) has been shown to cause an increase in carcinogenic hormones. This kind of milk has been banned throughout Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The US is one of very few countries that allow it. The state of Ohio took it a step further and had a ban on labels that identified milk produced without the use of bovine growth hormones, thanks to the work of Monsanto, the company that created these genetically engineered hormones.

I want to repeat that because it’s the opposite of what you would expect of our government: the law that was passed doesn’t keep dangerous hormones from being put into cows that produce the milk we drink. The law deliberately keeps us uninformed about whether or not there are dangerous hormones in the milk we drink.

So the good news: Last month, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals . This is good not only because now people in Ohio can know whether or not they’re getting milk with dangerous hormones in it; it also “a legal opinion based on scientific evidence submitted for the Court’s consideration that confirms what many of us have long suspected: milk from hormone-treated cows is in fact not only a different product than milk from untreated cows, but it is also potentially damaging to our health.”

And if you’re worried about whether your milk has rBGH, just follow the steps listed in the post I linked above:

Buy milk from local farmers whose names you know and whose kids go to school with yours, or buy milk produced by authentic organic dairies.

Every time you go into the grocery store, and milk is on your list, find a manager and ask, “Was this milk produced with rBGH or rBST?” If the answer is “I don’t know” or “yes,” tell the manager you refuse to buy it and that you’ve asked your friends not to buy it either.

Milk has a short shelf life. If we don’t buy it, the people who produce and sell it lose money. Once they start losing money, we’ve got their attention. Only then will they begin to listen.

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