Monthly Archives: January 2008

Labels Aren’t Big Enough To Tell The Truth

By TERRY D. ETHERTON, Ph.D.
My editorial reply to the Centre Daily Times, State College, PA
(Published in the January 21, 2008 issue of the Centre Daily Times)

Your editorial (Truth is spilled over milk, published on January 3, 2008) overlooked a lot of truths and passed on a few half truths as well.

The biggest overlooked truth is that the controversy over milk labeling has more to do with company profits than with consumer demand. The truth is that milk companies have forced farmers to stop using recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) so that the companies can imply through advertising that their milk is better than some other company’s milk. This disingenuous advertising — “hormone free,” “no artificial hormones,” etc. – is fully aimed at customers who cannot be expected to know all the facts about rbST. There is a bothersome fact that undermines this advertising strategy: All milk contains hormones —the same hormones in the same amounts, irrespective of whether the cow has been supplemented with rbST. This includes organic milk and milk from cows not supplemented with rbST. Even vitamin D, which is used to fortify milk, is a hormone. Continue reading Labels Aren’t Big Enough To Tell The Truth

Pennsylvania Milk Labeling Law a Positive Step

Editorial from Hoard’s Dairyman
January 10, 2008 Issue

Kudos to Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff for his department’s announcement that it will not allow dairy retailers to market milk with so-called “absence labels” in the state. Wolff, a dairy farmer himself, said that his department reviewed 140 labels and found 16 of them false or misleading. This announcement covered labels promising milk to be free of certain things such as artificial hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides. Continue reading Pennsylvania Milk Labeling Law a Positive Step