Why NOT to drink store bought milk

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by daileyjoy, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. daileyjoy

    daileyjoy Well-Known Member

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    http://www.ejnet.org/rachel/rhwn381.htm


    http://www.notmilk.com/lawbreakers.html

    HORMONES IN MILK: NO RIGHT TO KNOW
    The David and Goliath battle of the century is shaping up over a synthetic hormone called rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) that was approved by federal officials last month for use in milk cows in the U.S.

    David is a handful of farm and consumer organizations, and Goliath is a coalition of agrichemical companies backed by top officials of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). At issue is the safety of milk, and the right of consumers to know what chemicals and drugs have been added to the milk they buy in the grocery store. Consumer advocates say the public has a right to know. The agrichemical industry and the Clinton administration say not.

    Last November 5 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared rBGH "safe" for use in milk cows, and last month Monsanto, the chemical company, began selling its version of the drug to dairy farmers. [1]Other companies hoping to get into the business are Eli Lilly, UpJohn, and American Cyanamid. Monsanto's version of the drug is intended to be injected into milk cows every two weeks, to stimulate milk production by 5% to 20%. Consumer and farm organizations, including Consumers Union, publisher of CONSUMER REPORTS magazine, have presented evidence that byproducts of the hormone treatment are measurable in milk and are not safe for humans or for cows; they also say approval of rBGH clearly violated FDA's own regulations. [2] They want the product withdrawn from the market, and, until that happens, they want hormone-containing milk labeled so that consumers can make an informed choice about the milk they buy.

    In eleven different surveys, American consumers have indicated overwhelmingly that they do not want milk that contains genetically-engineered hormones, and that they want milk labeled so they can make an informed choice in the grocery store. [3] For example, in a survey of 1000 people in Wisconsin (a leading milk-producing state), 75% of respondents said they would pay as much as 44 cents extra per gallon to avoid genetically-engineered hormones in their milk. This attitude was consistent regardless of income levels, educational background, or residence in rural or urban areas.

    In response to consumer concerns, the FDA and Monsanto have spoken with a single voice: the FDA has warned grocery stores not to label milk as free of the hormone, [4] and on Feb. 18 Monsanto sued two milk processors that labeled milk as free of the hormone. [5]

    It is no accident that the FDA and Monsanto are speaking with one voice on this issue. The FDA official responsible for the agency's labeling policy, Michael R. Taylor, is a former partner of King & Spaulding, the Washington, D.C. law firm that has brought the lawsuits on behalf of Monsanto. Taylor, a lawyer, is a classic product of the revolving door. Starting in 1980, he worked for FDA for 4 years as executive assistant to the commissioner. In 1984 he joined King & Spaulding and remained there until 1991; during that time the law firm represented Monsanto while the company was seeking FDA approval of rBGH. In 1991, President Bush's FDA Commissioner, David A. Kessler, Jr., revolved Taylor back into FDA as assistant commissioner for policy. [6] Kessler himself was retained by President Clinton, as was Taylor. Last month Taylor signed the FEDERAL REGISTER notice warning grocery stores not to label milk as free of rBGH, thus giving Monsanto a powerful boost in its fight to prevent consumers from knowing whether rBGH produced their milk.

    FDA offers two justifications for preventing labeling: 1) FDA is not requiring anyone to keep track of who is using rBGH and who is not and, without a paper trail, grocery stores might make false claims if they said their milk was rBGH-free. 2) FDA says there is "virtually" no difference between milk from cows injected with rBGH and cows not injected. Virtually means "almost." (More on this claim below.)

    To remedy the first problem, Consumers Union had suggested that FDA simply require Monsanto to maintain a public list of people who buy rBGH, thus allowing grocery stores and milk wholesalers to determine easily whether any particular farmer is, or isn't, using the controversial drug. FDA refused. And Monsanto is not revealing who is buying rBGH.

    By its lawsuits, Monsanto has sent a clear message to anyone who might be tempted to label milk with words about rBGH. Evidently Monsanto fears that informed consumers might choose not to buy milk produced by rBGH-treated cows. An internal company memo dated Sept. 21, 1993, equates a government labeling requirement with a government "ban" on its product. [7]

    Monsanto has a lot at stake. The company has been hurt in recent years by lawsuits and publicity over several of its chemical products that it insisted were safe, such as the herbicide 2,4,5-T used in Agent Orange in Vietnam, and PCBs, which Congress banned in 1976. Some Wall Street analysts believe that Monsanto has bet its future on genetically-engineered farm and food products, and that failure of rBGH could damage the company significantly. Monsanto has reportedly spent $300 million since 1984 developing the rBGH hormone. According to Consumers Union, rBGH should earn Monsanto $300 to $500 million annually in the U.S., and $1 billion each year worldwide. [8]

    Both the food and pharmaceuticals industries are reportedly very worried that consumer rejection of rBGH in milk would dim the future for all genetically engineered foods. [9] According to industry analysts, some 60 genetically-engineered food products are scheduled for approval by FDA in the next few years. For its part, the Clinton administration is counting on genetic engineering to give America a competitive advantage in the global marketplace and thus boost the President's flagging prospects for re-election.

    Monsanto is clearly aware of the Clinton Administration's enthusiasm for genetically-engineered foods to boost the economy. An internal company memo [7] dated Sept. 21, 1993, suggests that, to persuade the Administration to allow rBGH onto the market, a Monsanto lobbyist should "Let [USDA] Secretary Espy know that companies like Monsanto will likely pull out of the agriculture biotech area if the Administration will not stand up to persons like Senator Feingold [of Wisconsin, an opponent of rBGH use]." Espy is now solidly on board promoting rBGH.

    FDA Commissioner Kessler has also proven himself to be a loyal soldier in the consumer wars. He has consistently opposed giving consumers a choice by labeling milk. He says things such as, "The public can be confident that milk and meat from BST-treated cows is safe to consume." (BST is Monsanto's name for rBGH.) And, "There is virtually no difference in milk from treated and untreated cows." [10]

    Unfortunately, a considerable body of scientific evidence from the U.S., England and Europe indicates that Commissioner Kessler is simply not telling the whole truth. Substantial evidence indicates that milk from rBGH-treated cows is very likely to feature:

    ** more pus from infected cows' udders;

    ** more antibiotics given to cows to treat those infections;

    ** an "off" taste and shortened shelf life, because of the pus;

    ** perhaps higher fat content and lower protein content;

    ** more of a tumor-promoting chemical called IGF-I, which has been implicated in cancers of the colon, smooth muscle, and breast.

    In return for accepting increased pus, more antibiotics, and a tumor-promoting chemical in their glass of milk, what benefits will consumer's get?

    None whatsoever. Zero. Even FDA says there are no consumer benefits. In fact, because the U.S. already produces a surplus of milk, which is purchased by Uncle Sam, increasing milk production with rBGH will COST the taxpayer an additional $200 million or more each year, estimates Consumers Union. That's family money pumped into some chemical company's pocket. That's who benefits.
     
  2. I'm not to tell anyone what they are supposed to eat or drink.

    However, this story has more myth & fabrication than truth in it. It is not made up from people who want to help you & me, but rather people who wish to push their own political agendas.

    Choose to do & support what you want to, but look deeper into this one before taking it at face value.

    Personally, I don't use much of Monsanto's farm products as I do not like their business agreements (paperwork); I am a farmer but do not raise milk or dairy. Figured you should know my background if my words are to mean anything.

    --->Paul
     

  3. Is it true that some bgh is naturally occuring in either cattle or milk and that the use of bgh is adding more of what is already present in most cases to enhance the production to the point of animals that have naturaly occuring high levals?
    .
     
  4. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for posting that. The article is 10 years old and Monsatan is still trying to bully the dairies into deceiving the consumer!
    I had (wrongly) assumed the US had banned rBGH when the other industrial nations did. I also assumed that non-labelling meant non-use. When I saw Wholefoods milk labelled as rBGH free I thought to myself "of course it is" and thought they were misleading consumers into thinking that made their milk better than all of the other milk out there.
    Reading that article and noticing how old it was made me do a quick search for an up to date report. What I found was Monsatan sueing the Oakhurst Dairy for daring to print "No Artificial Growth Hormones" on their milk cartons.
    Whatever happened to the free market economy and "Let the Consumer Decide" ?
     
  5. Yup, that's the whole point. The hormone is naturally occuring, so all milk has it. Just a bsic part of milk. Can't really test for it, can't say milk doesn't contain it, or that any milk is hormone free - all dairy milk contains this hormone, as well as many many others.

    Again, to each their own, but get informed on the topic, it is not as that first message pretends.

    --->Paul
     
  6. daileyjoy

    daileyjoy Well-Known Member

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    I did notice that it was an older article when you brought it up, sorry. So I researched some more and discoverd that Monsanto just cut their sale of the BGH hromone by 50% with no reasons why but again they are still using it some and you have no idea if the milk you are drinking has BGH in it not to mention the added boost of extra antibotics given to the cows to fight infection caused by being given BGH. I plan on reading some more about this but don't take my word for it look it up yourself. I've only found one website that praises the use of it and that is the company that sells it.
    Paul can you show me articles that dispute this?
    I'm not going to swear that this one artice is the God's honest truth but I've yet to find anything except the company that sells it saying that the hormone is safe to people and even cows. If you can show me, I'll listen and research it myself.

    Jennifer
     
  7. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The hormone BGH is naturally occuring but rBGH isn't. That said, it may even be safe, but consumers should be allowed to avoid it if they choose. At present you can avoid rBGH by buying organic (US National Organic Standards do not allow the use of GMOs and GMO derivatives such as rGBH). It may or may not be possible to test for rBGH in milk, but a farmer knows whether or not he injected his herd with it.
     
  8. daileyjoy

    daileyjoy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mistletoad that is how I feel, I should be allowed to choose as to whether or not I am giving my daughters genetically-engineered hormones or not.

    Jennifer
     
  9. MarkSykes

    MarkSykes Well-Known Member

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    Michael Fumento on rBGH

    It is fairly difficult to find legitimately researched, peer-reviewed information about rBGH on the Web that addresses all the points in the article, possibly for the same reason serious discourse on Elvis sightings is so elusive.
     
  10. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    when I drink milk my colon goes into a hour long spasm.. maybe my colon knows something I dont about milk.
     
  11. so far some of the new organic labeling is not particularly impressive when it comes to animal production. If you realy want to know how your food is produced you really almost have to buy directly from the producer and see his methods.
     
  12. rio002

    rio002 Well-Known Member

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    www.organicconsumers.org

    This is a site I just went to see what companies in my state (goes through all states) carry rBGH free dairy products and rBgh free plus organic dairy products. If they won't tell us out right who uses what then we should take it upon ourselves to learn.
     
  13. mtnhighgirl

    mtnhighgirl Well-Known Member

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    One more reason for me to keep drinking organic soy milk until we get a few dairy goats.
     
  14. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    meh, I'll stick with the store milk, taste MUCH better than POWDER milk!!!!
     
  15. SRSLADE

    SRSLADE Well-Known Member

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    Are the farmers that use these products just as evil as the company that sells them? I don't think hiding behind a big corporation is very good either. I drink organic milk. Worth every penny. We all buy expensive crap to amuse ourselves and pay 2-3 dollars a gallon for gas but hate to pay for good food. To each his or her own.BON APPETIT.
     
  16. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    I recently had started having milk delivered by the milkman. The milk is stated to be hormone and antibiotic free. Does that mean it does not have the rbgh stuff?

    It comes in glass bottles, which I return each week when the new stuff comes. It is processed only a day and a half before I get it. It's from local dairy farmers.

    The milk tastes awesome and I feel the $$ is helping local farmers and a local business.

    Although it is much more expensive than what's on the shelves, I feel that the quality is much higher. One of my kids went from being the Apple Juice kid to drinking milk.

    The big thing the family noticed is that the skim milk tastes like 1% or 2% on the shelf.

    brural
     
  17. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Well-Known Member

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    The biggest farce when this all happened was the fact that the non BGH producers were not allowed to put that fact on their products. My store did put up signs temporarily, but today you cannot tell which have and which do not. Monsanto is evil in my book. Their genetically engineered products contaminate many other crops each year. There have been repeated requests for the gov't to make producers label their crops, but the FDA has refused. That is all I want, a choice of what to buy. Consumers could then either accept or reject Monsanto's ways, but we have no chance to do that in any of our commercial food supply.
     
  18. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    As other people have said, tht's another reason to drink organic milk. Also, concerning milk products not allowed to be labled rGBH free, Ben & Jerry's ice cream does advertise this (like I need another reason to eat B&J). Perhaps it is only milk that can't be labeled. Then again, Ben and Jerry's are a very popular ice cream brand. It would not look good if Monsanto or anybody else sued them.
     
  19. daileyjoy

    daileyjoy Well-Known Member

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    I am considering switching the whole family to soy just to be safe, my youngest dd and I already drink it and dh will switch only our oldest dd will not want to because she has been on whole milk her whole life. I agree with Cindy I could care less what big dairy companies do use it or don't but I should be allowed to choose, it is my right and against FDA regulations to not have a test that is able to determine the exact amount of BGH that we drink. In December of 03 Monsanto cut their sales by 15% and again by 50% in January so that explaines why right now we are paying almost 4.00 a gallon but still that means that there are what 45% of the dairy companies still using and not lettign us know who they are. So I could be paying 4.00 a gallon for milk chalked full of pus, antibotics and GHB :(
     
  20. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Not to mention they put extract of pig skin (or pig brains, or sheep or fish skin - Vitamin d3, yummy!) and bleach in milk.

    We drink only organic now. Although it is still pasteurized unfortunately. :(