“Several large dairy producers and food companies have made news recently by getting rid of recombinant bovine growth hormone, also known as rBGH or rBST, from their milk supply. This is great news for consumers, since this genetically engineered growth hormone is known to cause harm to cows and may pose health risks to humans.
In yet another attack on consumers’ right to know, Monsanto, the company that makes rBGH under the trade name Posilac, has asked the Food and Drug Administration to restrict the use of labels identifying ‘rBGH-free’ or ‘rBST-free’ dairy products. Monsanto claims such labels are ‘misleading’ to consumers, and infer that dairy products without such a label are inferior. FDA approved the use of voluntary labels more than 12 years ago at the request of dairy companies seeking to respond to customer concerns over the use of the genetically engineered hormone. Since FDA refused to require mandatory labeling of dairy products from cows treated with rBGH, voluntary labeling by non-adopters is the only label consumers can count on to make informed decisions about what to feed themselves and their families.
If Monsanto succeeds in convincing FDA to restrict rBGH-free labeling, consumers will lose valuable information about how their food is produced.”Feb. 20, 2008