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Safeway & Chipotle Chains Dropping Milk & Dairy Derived from Monsanto's Bovine Growth Hormone


What was unofficial last month has now been confirmed - Safeway's processing plants in both Portland and Seattle have now gone rBGH-free!

Although Safeway's public relations department has still not make an official announcement, but Oregon PSR has learned from multiple sources that this indeed has happened.The plants produce fluid milk for all of Oregon, SW Washington and a few parts of northern California.

Safeway packages two brands of milk, Lucerne and Dari-Glen. Apparently (unfortunately) only Lucerne will be labeled rBGH-free. We believe this is a marketing decision, since the milk is the same, and would expect Lucerne to be priced higher, as it is now. They are going through the old inventory of packaging now and all the new labeling should be in the stores by mid-February.

As with other dairy processors that have gone rBGH-free, Safeway is requiring that dairy farmers supplying them milk must sign affidavits stating they won't use rBGH.

For over two years, Oregon PSR has coordinated the campaign that led to hundreds of people sending post cards to Safeway asking them to go rBGH-free. From our office, we've sent 396 signed postcards to Safeway's headquarters and we've handed out nearly 200 to others that they've sent on their own. Many thanks to NW Resistance Against Genetic Engineering for helping us gather these signed post cards and to all of you that signed post cards yourself. Many thanks also to all of you who answered Oregon PSR's request and filled out Safeway's own comment cards inside their stores asking them to go rBGH-free.

Another huge factor was Starbucks' decision to ask its suppliers to go rBGH-free. Safeway Lucerne is the NW supplier and Starbucks has already disclosed that this move in the Northwest will take them to 37% rBGH-free nationwide from 27%.

Safeway's processing plant in San Leandro, CA went rBGH-free about two years ago. Previous to the Northwest action, it had been the only rBGH-free plant Safeway had. I've heard unconfirmed reports about whether Safeway's other plants nationwide will follow suit, but nothing I can announce with certainty yet. Safeway is the 23rd largest dairy processor in the country, with 17 plants in the U.S. and three in Canada. Also, I haven't heard whether Safeway's non-fluid milk products will be rBGH-free. As soon as I find out, I'll let you know.

This now leaves Fred Meyer's Portland plant as the ONLY fluid milk processing facility in Oregon still allowing rBGH! Fred Meyer is a division of Kroger, who was reported last June to be looking for rBGH-free milk for their stores.

Thank you to Safeway and thanks again to all of you who have played a role, large or small, to help bring about this decision.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Starts Goes rBGH-free for Sour Cream

In other good news, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it will now start serving only rBGH-free sour cream at its more than 530 restaurants.

Steve Ells, founder and CEO, said "We have long favored an approach to farming that emphasizes care over chemicals. We believe that the energy and effort that goes in to raising these animals in the most natural way possible really translates in the quality and great taste of the food."

Chipotle worked out an arrangement with its supplier, Daisy Brand, to only have rBGH-free sour cream. Please note that not all Daisy Brand dairy products are rBGH-free. In fact, the sour cream supplied to Chipotle is the only product that is. I called up Daisy Brand to get clarification on this.

Our thanks and congratulations to Chipotle for taking this important step!