Category Archives: rbST Public Discussion

The “Smoke and Mirrors” of rbST-Free Milk Pricing Keeps Rolling On…and On

Terry D. Etherton

The latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey of retail food prices was just released.  In this informal survey, for the third quarter of 2010, shoppers reported the average price for a half-gallon of regular whole milk was $2.04, down 2 cents from the prior quarter. The average price for one gallon of regular whole milk was $3.16, up 10 cents. Comparing per-quart prices, the retail price for whole milk sold in gallon containers was about 25 percent lower compared to half-gallon containers, a typical volume discount long employed by retailers. Continue reading The “Smoke and Mirrors” of rbST-Free Milk Pricing Keeps Rolling On…and On

War of Words – Another IDFA Venture

Terry D. Etherton

Not long ago, I got an invitation to speak at the annual 2009 Dairy Forum sponsored by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).  It was tempting to say “yes”… the meeting is being held at a dandy upscale hotel on the Disney World property in Florida, and in January, 2009!  I, however, had a schedule conflict and couldn’t accept the invitation.

Good thing, however, given the title of the session I was invited to speak at was entitled “Labeling – War of Words”. Continue reading War of Words – Another IDFA Venture

Udder Nonsense about Milk

Henry Miller

The Washington Times
Published on Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Milk occupies a special place in our lives and language. It has been dubbed “Nature’s most perfect food,” and we speak sentimentally of the “land of milk and honey” and the “milk of human kindness.” Dairy products represent important nutrient sources in much of the world, containing calcium and high-quality protein. Continue reading Udder Nonsense about Milk

No Difference in Conventional, rbST-Free and Organic Milk

No Differences Found in the Composition of Conventional, rbST-Free and Organic Milk

Terry D. Etherton

A new scientific study by Vicini et al. published in the July issue of the prestigious Journal of the American Dietetic Association (JADA) reports the results of the first in-depth survey study comparing retail milk for quality, nutritional value and levels of different milk hormones, including bovine somatotropin (bST). The study that we published found that there were “no meaningful differences” in the composition of milk with the three different label claims. Continue reading No Difference in Conventional, rbST-Free and Organic Milk

rbST Benefits the Environment

Terry D. Etherton

For those who thought the public discussion about recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) might have faded…guess what? It has not!

A superb paper (“The Environmental Impact of Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (rbST) use in Dairy Production”) published by Capper et al. on June 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that use of rbST reduces the carbon footprint of milk production. This is an important contribution to the scientific base documenting the benefits of rbST use in the dairy industry. Continue reading rbST Benefits the Environment

Milk Labeling in Minnesota – Another Journalistic Venture

“Sweet Bonus” or Survival? Get the Facts and Then Decide!
by Sherry Bunting
Introduction by Terry Etherton

On June 22, 2008, the Star Tribune newspaper (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota) published an article, “Is Labeling Milk as Free of Hormones a Bad Idea“, written by Lou Gelfand. The story is great example of the lousy and slanted journalism being practiced that focuses on agricultural biotechnology … in this case, rbST and milk labeling. Continue reading Milk Labeling in Minnesota – Another Journalistic Venture

Socially Responsible? Think Again.

Cyndi Young
Brownfield Ag News
Published in Illinois AgriNews (April 17, 2008)

A release I came across in my computer inbox the other day promoted the establishment of a new brand of milk. Not only does this milk come from happy cows, but from socially responsible dairy farms.

It appears that “socially responsible” has replaced “politically correct” as the buzz phrase of choice in many circles. Continue reading Socially Responsible? Think Again.

Irony and International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA)

Terry D. Etherton

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) recently has issued two contradictory press releases (see below) that relate to labeling of milk and dairy products. In one, they promote absence claim labeling; in the other they propose labels are not needed.

IDFA supports the use of deceptive absence labels in the rbST-free milk market battle! However, they are opposed to labels on ultra-filtered (UF) milk used in cheesemaking because those labels may confuse the consumer! Continue reading Irony and International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA)

Milk Market Moos

Published in Farmshine (March 28, 2008 Issue)

Dairymen respond to Wal-Mart’s “Great Value

Wal-Mart announced this week that its Great Value milk brand now sources milk exclusively from cows not treated with rbST. Milk selections at Sam’s Club are also offered from suppliers sourcing milk from non-supplemented cows.

With this announcement came a report on Wal-Mart’s blogging website, where Rand Waddoups, “author for sustainability” writes about several new “sustainability-related” initiatives at Wal-Mart, including this recent change for Great Value milk. Continue reading Milk Market Moos

Scientists Challenge Industry In Escalating rbST Label Row

Posted on Truth About Trade & Technology
April 2, 2008

Sixty-six university dairy and veterinary scientists launched a broad attack Monday against milk processors and retail marketers who increasingly seek to advertise and label milk produced by cows not treated with Monsanto’s recombinant bovine somatotropin. A letter from professors at nearly every major land grant university asserted there was no difference between conventional and “rBST-free” or organic milk but that consumers were being misled by emotional advertising claims to pay higher prices. Continue reading Scientists Challenge Industry In Escalating rbST Label Row