Monthly Archives: January 2007

New Data Show Milk Marketing Claims Are Misleading

New Data Show Milk Marketing Claims Are Misleading – Scientific Analysis of Retail Milk Samples from 48 States Shows No Difference in Concentrations of bST, IGF-1 and Progesterone; No Antibiotics Found in Milk

ST LOUIS, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Monsanto announced on January 25, 2007 that new data from a national study of milk show that marketing claims implying that milk from cows not treated with POSILAC bovine somatotropin (bST) is safer or healthier are misleading. Scientific analysis of retail milk samples gathered from 48 states showed no difference in concentrations of bST, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), progesterone or nutrients in conventionally produced milk and conventionally produced milk labeled as coming from cows not supplemented with POSILAC. No antibiotic residues were found in any samples.

Continue reading New Data Show Milk Marketing Claims Are Misleading

Taking Away Modern Technologies from Dairy Farmers Hurts the Environment

Troy L. Ott, Ph.D., PAS
Associate Professor of Reproductive Biology

Department of Dairy and Animal Science
The Pennsylvania State University

Hold on to your wallets ladies and gentlemen. A number of large dairy processors are getting ready to pull the old “smoke-and-mirrors” trick that will result in you paying more for your milk while at the same time hurting the environment. “How could this be?” you say. Here’s the scam: retailers will sell “rbST-free” milk to you for a premium of about 40 cents to $2.20 per gallon. As discussed in Terry Etherton’s Blog, the milk is not different in composition from other milk, but you will have a vague feeling that it is somehow better. Never mind that rbST has been determined by the FDA to be a safe and effective way to increase milk production by 10-15%. Never mind that it has been shown to be an effective tool to increase the efficiency of dairying. Never mind that it has been approved for use for over 10 years without any documented problems. NONE!

Continue reading Taking Away Modern Technologies from Dairy Farmers Hurts the Environment

High Risk Groups Hit Hardest by Activists Who Oppose rbST Milk

Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D.

Distinguished Professor of Nutrition
Department of Nutritional Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University

As a member of the USDA/HHS Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, 2005, I was a strong proponent of the recommendation to increase milk/dairy product consumption from 2 to 3 servings per day. This recommendation was made on the basis of the contribution that milk and dairy products make to achieving nutrient adequacy. In addition, the Committee recognized the many health benefits of milk/dairy consumption within the context of a healthy diet. The fact that this recommendation was adopted in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 illustrates the strong support of the scientific community for the evidence base that was the foundation for this recommendation. Based on current milk consumption practices, most Americans must increase milk intake between 60 and 100%. Continue reading High Risk Groups Hit Hardest by Activists Who Oppose rbST Milk

Udder Madness – Wall Street Journal Editorial

REVIEW & OUTLOOK (Published on January 20, 2007; Page A10)

Starbucks advertises itself as a coffee company with a social conscience. These are the folks who created the marketing gimmick of “fair trade” coffee for America’s latte drinkers. So it’s no shock that Starbucks announced this week that it will buckle under to pressure from left-wing activist groups and phase-out its purchases of milk containing artificial growth hormone. Continue reading Udder Madness – Wall Street Journal Editorial

Luddites at the Gate

Terry Etherton

As a scientist, I am stunned by the factors that are driving policy-making at every level today—from Capitol Hill, to the boardroom, to the kitchen, decision-makers are increasingly influenced by a constituency whose credibility should at best be questioned and at worst be dismissed absolutely. According to wikipedia, the scientific method “is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. It is based on gathering observable, empirical, measurable evidence, subject to the principles of reasoning[1].“ Evidence and reasoning are in short supply in the debate over rbST. Activist advocacy groups are using fear-based and emotional arguments that are having an impact on our society. Continue reading Luddites at the Gate

Biotechnology in the Barnyard – The Future

Terry Etherton


Since the onset of the modern era of biotechnology in 1973, scientists have made impressive strides in developing new biotechnologies for agriculture (reviewed in Metabolic Modifiers, 1994; Etherton et al., 2003). Biotechnologies that enhance productivity and productive efficiency (feed consumed/unit of output) have been developed and approved for commercial use. Continue reading Biotechnology in the Barnyard – The Future

Illinois Dairy Producers Speak Out About rbST



After being approved for over ten years, the recent move to ban rbST use caught us by surprise. It seemed in the distance, since the movement was occurring on the east and west coasts. Then, in September 2006 we came face to face with the issue when our local co-op board (Prairie Farms) began discussing a ban on rbST use. Continue reading Illinois Dairy Producers Speak Out About rbST

FDA Risk Assessment on Cloning

Terry Etherton

On December 28, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a draft risk assessment (RA) on whether cloning affects food safety or animal health, and whether food products from livestock should be sold for consumption. The draft, “A Risk-Based Approach to Evaluate Animal Clones and Their Progeny – DRAFT” presents the FDA’s position. The risk assessment concludes that “….the available data has not identified any food consumption risks or subtle hazards in healthy clones of cattle, swine, or goats. Thus, edible products from healthy clones that meet existing requirements for meat and milk in commerce pose no increased food consumption risk(s) relative to comparable products from sexually-derived animals.” Continue reading FDA Risk Assessment on Cloning