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rBGH

A 1986 communique by the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) warns that rBGH will benefit large dairies over family farms and is opposed by family farm and animal welfare groups.

A 1994 Nature commentary by three scientists raised concerns that Monsanto misreported data showing high somatic cell counts (pus) in milk from rBGH-injected cows. Monsanto accused them of plagiarism. The events are recounted by IATP in November 1994.

A detailed 1995 report by the family farm group Rural Vermont outlines the rigged approval process for rBGH. A second report from the group examines the animal health and economic problems with the GMO drug.

A detailed 1997 analysis by Consumers Union on the public health risks of rBGH.

Peter Montague did some of the best early reporting on bovine growth hormone (rBGH) in his Rachel’s Environment and Health Weekly. See #381-Hormones in Milk: No Right to Know, #382-Some Dangers of Hormones in Milk and #383-Drug Experiments on the Public (March 16, 23, and 30 1994); #454-Milk Safety (August 9, 1995); #483-Is BGH in Trouble? (February 28, 1996); #593 and #598 -Milk, rBGH, and Cancer (April 8 and May 7, 1998); and #621-Milk Controversy Spills Into Canada (October 21, 1998).

A 2003 letter from Consumers Union scientist Michael Hansen to the Maine Attorney General (in response to Monsanto threats to Maine dairies that used no-rBGH labels) explains health impacts and labeling rules around rBGH.

After a pair of Tampa Fox TV reporters, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, produce an investigative piece on Monsanto’s rBGH, Monsanto threatens the station and Fox pulls the plug before the piece is aired. Their legal battle with Fox News and ongoing efforts to expose Monsanto won them the 2001 Goldman Environmental Prize for North America.

A wealth of resources and information on rBGH from Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility.

A 2008 article on Ben & Jerry’s fight to maintain their “no artificial hormones” labels, includes a response from the “new group” that opposes the labels, the American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology (AFACT). Posing as a family farm group, AFACT was actually created by the dairy industry’s “Voices for Choices” (VfC) campaign, and Monsanto representatives were at the founding meetings and were involved throughout the group’s campaign.  The NY Times exposed the connections in a March 2008 expose.

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