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Monsanto's Bullying Increases Sales for Louisiana Dairy

Following the publication of an article in Vanity Fair titled "Monsanto's Harvest of Fear," detailing how the agri-chemical giant attempted to prevent Baton Rouge dairy farm Kleinpeter Farms from advertising that their milk is free of rBGH (an artificial growth hormone injected into dairy cows to increase milk production), owner Jeff Kleinpeter says emails started flooding in from all over the world. "The first day, I had 40 emails from all over the country," he says, "when the paper version came out, I received 200 emails. I continue to get them every week." Monsanto is the maker of rBGH. The response, supporting the dairy's organic farming practices was unbelievable, says Kleinpeter. "They said we're doing the right thing for our customers. All we really did was stick to our guns on what our customers wanted--rBGH free milk."

Since the article came out, milk sales increased, says Kleinpeter. Some of the emails he received were from people in other states, wanting to buy Kleinpeter products. "My answer to folks in other states is this: we're going to continue to grow at a controlled rate, where we can guarantee our customer service level and the level of our quality, so we will be your way one day and we hope you will still remember who we are."

Kleinpeter objects to using the hormone because while there is no scientific proof that the milk from cows injected with rBGH is harmful to humans, it is destructive to his herd. "It's like driving a Volkswagon in an Indianapolis 500 race, you're destroying the cow by speeding up her metabolism that much," he says. He also grows corn to feed his cattle that is not genetically modified, another snub of Monsanto products. The irony of Monsanto's heavy handed tactics isn't lost on Kleinpeter. The way he sees it, Monsanto is actually encouraging more rBGH-free milk consumption. "They're causing a stink," he says. "And we get new customers."