(NaturalNews) Over the past century, Monsanto has dabbled in many projects – Agent Orange, Terminator seeds, PCBs, and now "recombined" milk. Monsanto's latest obsession is milk labels. Specifically, those that are labeled "rBST-free" or "rBGH-free". They are not concerned with the BST and the BGH on your milk labels. What worries them is the "r" in the label, which stands for "recombined." Recombined milk is not a natural state of milk and recent evidence suggests that it is probably not as good for us.
Consuming dairy products coming from cows treated with rBGH poses some health risks, including antibiotic resistance (because of antibiotic use to treat cows' mastitis and other health problems), and a link to a certain range of cancers due to an elevated level of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1.
Monsanto is waging a war of words to attempt to stop the threat against its bottom line. Consumers are becoming skeptical about recombined food and so the company is attempting to suppress or ban the "rBGH-free" label at the state level.
They contend that rBST is a supplement used to help cows produce more milk. Because of the fact that the supplement is injected into the cow and not the milk, they insist that the resulting milk is exactly the same. They state that there is no difference in this milk.
While it is true that all cows have naturally occurring bovine growth hormone, only cows injected with the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone have rBGH. To call this hormone a mere "supplement" is inaccurate as well. Cows that receive this hormone typically last only two lactation cycles before they are slaughtered. Non-rBGH cows normally produce milk
for 4-7 years and can live as long as 10 years.
Canada, Australia, and parts of the European Union have banned Monsanto's recombined milk due to its threats to both humans and cows. To date, the U.S. has yet again allowed Monsanto
the freedom to unleash its possibly lethal products on the unsuspecting consumer. And so, it comes down to a battle between the FDA (and its supporters) and those who don't follow the FDA. Proposed bans on rBGH-free labels are not to protect the consumer, they are to protect Monsanto's pocketbook.
Public sentiment is turning against rBGH products. More medical authorities are voicing concerns about physical and psychological health issues. In addition, farmers and consumers are demanding a differentiation between recombined milk and milk in its natural form.
Just because there is no commercial test for this drug does not translate into there not being a difference between recombined milk and natural milk. Monsanto's tactic has been to equate the absence of a verifying lab test with the label being misleading. This doesn't hold true as there are many products with legitimate labels that haven't been verified by lab tests – bottled water comes to mind.
Monsanto continues to muddy the waters by insisting that to label the different milks is misleading because "they make consumers believe there is a difference, when in fact there is none."
Monsanto nearly succeeded in a ban
on rBGH-free labels in Pennsylvania in 2007; however the ban failed at the eleventh hour. Several other states are expected to revise or lift their bans on rBGH-free labels due to opposition.
At this juncture, Monsanto seems to have accepted the consumer's rejection of genetically modified bovine growth hormones. At this point they are experimenting with some funding of grass-roots farming coalitions. The American Farmers for Advancement and Conservation of Technology (AFACT) is one such recipient of Monsanto's generosity. The farmers from organizations such as these have been known to harass their state legislators, force scientists who may be skeptical of advisory panels, and general intimidation.
As more consumers become aware of the issues involved and make their choices for rBGH-free products, it becomes more and more apparent that Monsanto's goal is censorship to protect their own interests, not the public's. One need only take a cursory look at Monsanto's past pattern with products like Agent Orange, PCBs, and Terminator seeds. The bottom line is that more information is never a bad thing and anything or anyone who tries to restrict the flow of information is likely anti-consumer.
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