Why we oppose rBST
All our products are made without the use of rBST, and we were the first dairy processor in the nation to pay farmers a premium to not treat cows with rBST.
A synthetic version of bovine growth hormone, rBST boosts milk production by 10–25%. USDA organic standards strictly forbid its use, and Canada and the EU have banned it.
Here’s why we oppose the use of rBST:
Family farm survival. We think the widespread use of rBST could economically devastate family farms. An increase in milk supply generally leads to a drop in the price paid to farmers. Price drops have put many farms out of business.
Cow health. rBST packaging lists many possible side effects, including swollen and ulcerated udders, skin rashes and hoof disorders. Experts say rBST increases the risk of mastitis and other udder infections by 25% and the risk of lameness by 50%. Increased cow infections could lead to increased antibiotic use, which could result in new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
There are other ways. Farmers can increase milk production safely and humanely through sound animal husbandry: good animal hygiene, optimizing cows’ living conditions and nutrition and not over-stressing cows.
Things you can do
To help keep rBST out of food production, tell your grocery store manager you’ll buy only products made without its use. With a phone call, letter or email message, thank the companies that buy milk from farmers who don’t use rBST. Anti-rBST farmers and companies need to know they’re answering consumer demand.
Urge your local parent/teacher association to prohibit your local school from buying food made with the use of rBST. You can also contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and urge the immediate withdrawal of rBST approval. Ask for, at the very least, federal labeling of products made with its use. The address:
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
For more information about rBST and products made without its use:
According to the FDA, no significant difference has been shown, and no test can now distinguish, between milk from rBST-treated cows and untreated cows.