Now that the major yogurt companies Yoplait and Dannon have gone rBGH-free, the Organic Consumers Association is asking our members to write to ice cream companies that still allow the use of genetically modified bovine growth hormone (Dreyer's, Edy's, Nestle, Haagen-Dazs, Klondike, Good Humor, Breyer's). Your letter will also go to the manufacturer and distributor of rBGH, Elanco (a division of Eli Lilly), which recently purchased the product from Monsanto, and the National Federation of Milk Producers which allows rBGH in its new Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) program.
The federal nutrition programs are a major provider of milk to our nation's school-age children. According to the National Milk Producers Federation, nearly 430 million gallons of milk were distributed through the National School Breakfast, Lunch, and Special Milk programs during the 2005-2006 school year. Unfortunately, a significant amount of this milk may have been produced with artificial growth hormones.
In her last days as Kansas Governor, Kathleen Sebelius (President Obama's Health and Human Services Secretary) vetoed a bill that would have made it more difficult for dairy farmers who don't use rBGH to communicate this to consumers on the labels of their dairy products.
While OCA and our allies have been fairly successful in fending off Eli Lilly's state legislative campaigns to remove "rBGH-free" labels from dairy products, agribusiness came up with a new strategy this fall that could make it harder for us to fight rBGH and other factory farming practices.
In November, Ohio's voter's passed Issue 2, a Farm Bureau-driven ballot initiative that changed Ohio's constitution to give industrial agriculture control over livestock issues. It creates a Livestock Care Standards Board, 13 political appointees with broad and unchecked power to decide rules on animal welfare - without any public input!
Yoplait and Dannon announced they would no longer purchase milk from dairies injecting their cows with Monsanto's controversial genetically engineered synthetic hormone, recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH).
After 5 years of declining sales and several legal setbacks, Monsanto has finally decided to dump rBGH! Thanks to consumer pressure, major retailers, dairies, and cafes, from Kroger to Starbucks, have commited to sourcing milk from rBGH-free cows.
Several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union have banned rbGH because of its impacts on human and animal health.
OCA's Millions Against Monsanto campaign has generated over a quarter million emails and petition signatures on the topic of rBGH, helping make rBGH one of the most controversial food products in the world.
Eli Lilly is purchasing posilac from Monsanto's and will inherit the product's problems.
rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) is a genetically engineered variant of the natural growth hormone produced by cows. Manufactured by Monsanto, it is sold to dairy farmers under the trade name Posilac. Injection of this hormone forces cows to boost milk production by about 10%, while increasing the incidences of mastitis, lameness, and reproductive complications.
Summary of the Health Dangers of rBGH
An Exposé of Industry and Government Cover-Up on the dangers of the Genetically Engineered (rBGH) Milk You’re Drinking
Monsanto, supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), insists that rBGH milk is indistinguishable from natural milk, and that it is safe for consumers. This is blatantly false.