Sometime Monsanto loses

I’ve discovered an interesting Federal Trade Commission document, dating back to 2007. (link to FTC.gov)

Monsanto encouraged FTC to start an investigation into the “misleading advertizing and labeling practices” related to the rBST, a synthetic bovine growth hormone manufactured by Monsanto and approved by FDA to increase milk production. While Monsanto acknoledges that milk producers and retailers have the right to inform consumers about the use or non-use or rBST, it expresses concern that the labeling and advertizing may mislead the consumers about the health and safety implication of rBST use.

Feel free to read thought the document (link to the PDF is above).

The good, although old news is that FTC has decided that that formal investigation is not warranted.

As an additional aspect, here are few more quotes for you on the legality of rBST use in US vs EU.

From the U.S.: “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring that animal drugs and medicated feeds are safe and effective for animals, and that food from treated animals is safe for humans to eat. Certain steroid hormones have been approved for use at very low concentrations to increase the rate of weight gain and/or improve feed efficiency in beef cattle. No steroid hormones are approved for use in poultry. All of the steroid hormonal growth-promoting drugs are available for over-the-counter purchase in the U.S., and are generally administered by the livestock producer at specific stages of production. Residue levels of these hormones in food have been demonstrated to be safe, as they are well below any level that would have a known effect in humans.” Excerpt, The Use of Steroid Hormones for Growth Promotion in Food-Producing Animals. FDA, 2002. Full text: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/FDAVeterinarianNewsletter/ucm110712.htm

From the European Union: “Concerns are based on the accumulating evidence on the fragility of the endocrine equilibrium in all stages of life as well as the potential genotoxicity of these compounds and their metabolites. Exogenous hormone exposure may disrupt this delicate equilibrium as is evidenced by the pronounced effects of oestrogens and testosterone on functional imprinting. Thus even exposure to residual amounts of hormonally active compounds as present in meat and meat products needs to be evaluated in terms of potentially adverse effects to public health.” Excerpt, Executive Summary, Assessment of Potential Risks to Human Health from Hormone Residues in Bovine Meat and Meat Products. Opinion of The Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Relating to Public Health, European Commission, Directorate-General XXIV, Consumer Policy And Consumer Health Protection, 1999. Full text:http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/sc/scv/out21_en.pdf

Have you heard of the Cabot cheese? Here is some very recent news (August 2011).

Agri-Mark, Inc., a Methuen, Massachusetts-based dairy cooperative that does business under the name Cabot Creamery Cooperative, has agreed to settle claims by Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell that the company misrepresented the “rBST-free” nature of the milk used to make some of its products. Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), also known as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), is a synthesized hormone that is sometimes given to dairy cows by injection to increase milk production. The settlement requires Agri-Mark to pay $65,000 to the State of Vermont, to donate $75,000 worth of dairy products to local food banks, and to take steps to prevent misrepresentations in the future and accurately inform the public as to the rBST status of its products. (From: Vermont Attorney General)

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