Why else do they not want people to know that their product is being used? You would think that Monsanto with its millions in profits and its monopoly in bovine growth hormone, would let the free market decide whether people want their ice cream/milk rBGH free or not. Surely, wouldn’t Monsanto’s commanding market presence, and the simple fact that conventional milk supplied by hormone injected cows tends to be cheaper than rBGH free milk be a sufficient counterweight against a simple rBGH free label?
The ice cream maker has joined a national campaign to block what critics say is an effort driven by Monsanto (MON), which markets recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST, also known as recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rBGH.The hormone, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to boost production in dairy cows in the early 1990s, was not approved in Canada, Japan or the European Union, largely out of concern it may be harmful to animals.A newly formed dairy producers’ group, backed by Monsanto, is pushing for labeling changes, saying hormone-free labels imply that the milk is safer than other milk, when they say it’s not.
This is a classic strawman’s argument. I don’t know if there is sufficient evidence to show that hormone filled milk is harmful to humans, but there is sufficient evidence that it is harmful to cows. As always, I point to the Meatrix (Note, available on youtube as well, but embedding has been disabled…).
Here’s a letter from the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility summarizing the harmful effects of rBGH.
- Increase in IGF-1 levels – possible link to cancer in humans
- Mastitis in Cows – Do you want your breasts infected and painfully inflamed? That’s what RBGH does to cows
- Antibiotics Resistance – To combat mastitis, the cows are pumped with antibiotics, which end up in the solid waste, and water runoff.
- 15 other side effects in cows, bad enough that Canada and the EU do not permit this growth hormone
All right, the product is still legal here in the US and I absolutely respect Monsanto’s right to sell it, fight for it and conduct a vigorous product defense (including obligatory astroturf group rbstfacts). But stop trying to get the government to do your dirty work for you and “banning” companies from telling consumers that they did not use your product, it’s shameful and unnecessary.
Consumers have a right to pay premium for a product that they think is superior for one reason or the other. It is anti-free market and protectionist to restrict information that will help these consumers decide.
What next? We all know that cosmetics tested on animals are not more harmful to people than animal cruelty free cosmetics. Shouldn’t that label be banned as well?