Consumer warning

Genetically engineered growth hormones COULD BE IN YOUR MILK AND DAIRY PRODUCTS. Starting on February 3, 1994, milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, yogurt, beef and infant formula sold and consumed throughout the United States will be laced with genetically engineered recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) – also known as “Bovine Somatotropin” or BST. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of rBGH in dairy cows without long-term testing on the hormone’s health effects on consumers.


Think Before You Drink
by Ben Davis

“Published research shows that rBGH injected into dairy cows substantially increases the concentration of IGF-1 in cow’s milk. (IGF-1 is a hormone that appears naturally in humans and cows. The IGF-1 in cows is chemically identical to the IGF-1 in humans. IGF-1 regulates cell growth, which causes cells to divide, particularly in children). Feeding relatively low doses of IGF-1 to mature rats for only two weeks resulted in statistically significant and systemic effects: increased body weight; increased liver weight; increased bone length; and decreased epiphyseal width. These results confirm prior theoretical predictions. In layperson’s terms: this drug may well be dangerous to humans, especially infants and children. The FDA has completely failed to investigate the effects of long-term feeding of IGF-1 and genetically engineered milk on growth, in infant rats or infants of any other species.

Bovine Growth Hormone
Although there have been no long-term tests of the hormone’s health effects on humans, some preliminary studies link BGH with increased risks of breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes and hypertension. BGH treated cows are more susceptible to “mad cow disease”, udder infections and birthing deformed calves. Milk and other products from BGH treated cows may contain less protein and higher levels of saturated fat as well as pus, bacteria and antibiotics.

IGF-1 is a powerful naturally-occurring growth hormone found in
the blood of humans. Dairy cows injected with
genetically-engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH) give milk
containing elevated levels of IGF-1, and the IGF-1 in milk can
pass into the blood stream of milk consumers. Cows’ IGF-1 is
chemically identical to that in humans. Ingested IGF-1 would
ordinarily be broken down in the stomach, but the presence of
casein in milk prevents such breakdown.[4,5,6,7,8] (See REHW
#454.) Thus these latest cancer findings raise important public
health questions about the safety of milk from cows treated with
bovine growth hormone (rBGH).

rBGH is injected into cows to extend by several weeks their
period of lactation, and thus to force them to produce more milk.

The milk connection
Bovine growth hormone was first synthesized in the early 1980s using genetic engineering techniques (recombinant DNA biotechnology). Small-scale industry-sponsored trials showed that it was effective in increasing milk yields by an average of 14 per cent if injected into cows every two weeks.


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