Organic Milk Wars: It's Not Just the Price
appetite for organic food is steadily growing. Leading the way is
USDA certified organic milk, with this year’s growth rate of 25
percent, while overall consumption decreased by 10 percent. Organic
milk is now among the first organic product that consumers buy.
more, the price of organic milk, besides other organic food, is
dropping sharply to a narrow margin above conventional products.
Leading the way, and far ahead of the field, is Wal-Mart, the nation’s
largest grocer and retailer.
apart, this is very good news for consumers. Organic milk is very
different, and safer than milk from cows injected with rBGH, a highly
potent genetically engineered version of BGH, the natural bovine
by Monsanto, rBGH is sold to dairy farmers under the trade name
Posilac. Injection of this hormone forces cows to increase their
milk production by about 10%. However, this is of little or no benefit
in view of the current national surplus. Monsanto has stated that
about one third of dairy cows in the nation are in large herds where
the hormone is now used. rBGH factory farms now pose a major threat
to the viability of small organic dairy farms, and enriches Monsanto
without any benefits to consumers.
strongly supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), still
insists that hormonal milk is indistinguishable from natural milk,
and that it is safe. This is blatantly false:
- rBGH makes
cows sick. Monsanto has been forced to admit to about 20 toxic
effects, including mastitis, on its Posilac drug label.
- rBGH milk
is often contaminated with pus, due to mastitis commonly induced
by rBGH, and also with antibiotics used to treat the mastitis.
This poses risks of nationwide antibiotic resistance to life threatening
- rBGH milk
is chemically, and nutritionally different than natural milk.
These differences include increased levels of milk fat, posing
- Milk from
cows injected with rBGH is contaminated with the hormone, traces
of which are absorbed through the gut into the blood, and provoke
- rBGH milk
is supercharged with high levels of a natural growth factor (IGF-1),
which is readily absorbed through the gut. These levels are further
increased following pasteurization.
- In numerous
published scientific studies over the last two decades, excess
levels of IGF-1 have been incriminated as causes of breast, colon,
and prostate cancers.
- IGF-1 blocks
natural defense mechanisms, technically known as apoptosis, against
the growth of early submicroscopic cancers.
on such well-documented scientific evidence, a 1999 European Commission
Report, by a group of well recognized international experts, concluded
that avoidance of rBGH dairy products in favor of natural organic
products “would appear to be the most practical and immediate dietary
intervention to . . . achieve the goal of preventing cancer.” Warnings
of these risks were detailed in my 1996 publication in the prestigious
International Journal of Health Services , endorsed by
over 50 leading national and international independent experts in
cancer prevention and public health, besides by activist consumer
groups, and in my 2006 book What’s In Your Milk?
on such scientific evidence, Canada, 28 European Member States,
Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Japan have all banned the
use and import of U.S. rBGH milk and dairy products.
sharp contrast, the FDA continues to turn a blind eye to the dangers
of Monsanto’s hormonal milk. This indifference has been supported
by longstanding conflicts of interest between Monsanto and the White
House, the American Medical Association, and the American Cancer
Society, which still remain unrecognized by the media. Also unrecognized
have been Congressional expressions of concern. These include a
1990 charge by Congressman John Conyers, then Chair of the House
Committee on Government Operations. “I find it reprehensible that
Monsanto and the FDA have chosen to suppress and manipulate animal
health test data in efforts to approve commercial use of rBGH .
. .without regard to the adverse effects on humans.”
recently warned by Ben Cohen, Co-Founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice
Cream, “rBGH is a bad and dangerous . . . bio-technological solution
to a problem that does not exist.”
S. Epstein, M.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
emeritus Environmental & Occupational Medicine
of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health,
Cancer Prevention Coalition, www.preventcancer.com
of the new book on rBGH, What’s In Your Milk?