Review Claims rbST Milk Is Eco-Friendly And Safe
by Caroline Scott-Thomas, Dairy
Posted: 2009-10-02 11:26:33 EST

Milk from cows treated with the rbST hormone is not only identical to other milk, but is also more eco-friendly, says a scientific review sponsored by Elanco, the company that bought Monsanto’s rbST business last year.

In the 1930s, it was discovered that increasing levels of bovine somatotrophin (bST), a hormone produced naturally by lactating cows, led to greater milk volumes. Monsanto developed an artificial version — rbST — in 1994, and controversy has dogged the product ever since. Its use is banned in Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, although bulk milk products from rbST-treated cows can still be used in food manufacture. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved rbST for use in 1993.

Now a review of the scientific data on rbST — first presented at the Joint Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association, Canadian Society of Animal Science, and American Society of Animal Science in July — has said that rbST is — one example of the kinds of efficient food production practices that will help feed the world in the future.

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