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Organic Consumers Association

OCA Analysis of Monsanto's rBGH



Monsanto is looking to shed its rBGH business anyway it can. rBGH has been unprofitable for Monsanto, particularly in light of mounting consumer rejection and legal battles.

Who is going to buy rBGH? Nobody right now. Monsanto will continue to produce rBGH for the short-term and likely eliminate its production all together if no one steps up to buy it quickly. Though it is possible that rBGH will get sold off to another corporation or subsidiary, or morphed into a new application, like growth hormone for farmed fish, there are a few important considerations. Unlike GE crops or Monsanto's popular herbicide, RoundUp, rBGH has suffered major setbacks in recent years and is not particularly attractive. Whoever buys rBGH will be inheriting a product with major problems:

1)    Massive Consumer Rejection: After years of campaigns from groups like the Organic Consumers Association, major retailers from Krogers to Starbucks and Wal-Mart have dropped rBGH.
2)    Defeat at the state legislature: Monsanto has attempted and failed to undermine state and consumers' right to label dairy produts as "rBGH/rBST Free"
3)    PR Setbacks: Monsanto tried, unsuccessfully, to spin rBGH as a solution to climate change, arguing that rBGH is more efficient for producing milk.
4)    International Rejection:  Aside from a handful of small countries, virtually all major international markets, including Japan and the European Union, have rejected the sale of rBGH.
5)    rBGH use is declining in the United States: According to the National Family Farm Coalition, only about 15% of conventional milk in the United States is produced using rBGH, not exactly a major market share.
6)    Healthcare professionals are advocating for rBGH-Free dairy products: An increasingly large number of health care providers are sourcing rBGH-free dairy products.

Whether rBGH is sold by Monsanto or not, OCA will continue advocating for its decisive elimination from our food supply.  

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