We strive to use the best quality ingredients in our products to provide nutritious, healthful food to our customers. The parmesan cheese in Wild Zora’s Parmesan Beef with Tomato, Basil & Kale is free of the drug rBST—Why? Despite the claims of paid Monsanto researchers and the FDA that rBST is safe for human consumption, a great deal of other research, studies, and reports tell a different ‘shady’ story.
Just as the human body naturally produces growth hormone, a cow’s body produces bovine growth hormone naturally. Thanks to Monsanto and the FDA, dairy farmers can now inject a man-made version of bovine growth hormone, made by Monsanto of course.
The hormone is called Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (rBST or rBGH) and was sold by Monsanto under the brand name Posilac, until they sold the drug to Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE) in 2008—the sale for $300 million included additional (undisclosed) payments post-purchase.
Cows injected with rBST produce more milk for longer periods of time—it is a bit perplexing that this was a needed alteration to natural milk production since dairy farmers have been producing more milk than Americans can consume since the 1950s. So much so in fact, a special agricultural program created by the federal government in 1986 paid farmers to go out of business to reduce the surplus of milk.
As reported in the New York Times in their March 23, 1986 article—the Whole Herd Buyout Program was a government effort to take 12 billion pounds of milk out of production annually. Farmers were paid by the government to either kill or export their cows and stop dairy farming for at least five years. The claim was that the purpose of the program was to drive up the price of milk to help farmers. Then in 1993, the FDA approved the use of Monsanto’s rBST to help increase milk production and bring down the price of milk to help the consumer… Hmmm!
Numerous entities, including Health Canada (the Canadian counterpart of the FDA) and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group have challenged the FDA’s assertion that rBST is safe for humans, or cows for that matter. One of their points of contention is that the FDA’s position is unreliable due to the agency’s determination that long term studies were not necessary for assessing the safety of rBST. Independent researchers continue to challenge the FDA’s position that rBST is biologically inactive in humans even if injected or taken orally.
From the FDA’s website: … long term toxicology studies (of rBST) to ascertain human health safety were not required by the FDA or conducted by Monsanto.
Also from the FDA’s website: The determination that long term studies were not necessary for assessing the safety of rbGH was based on studies which show that: bGH is biologically inactive in humans even if injected, rbGH is orally inactive, and bGH and rbGH are biologically indistinguishable.
While the FDA approved rBST and encouraged farmers to use the drug, scientists around the world and within the United States, that are outside of the control of Monsanto, offer warnings about the dangers of the drug. One of the concerns about rBST dairy is that cows that have been injected with engineered rBST contain 2 to 10 times as much Insuline-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1) than an un-injected cow, as does their milk.
Long-term independent studies, and even the American Cancer Society, report a link between high levels of IGF-1 and tumor development, increasing the risk of multiple cancers. Research has found an 8 times greater risk of prostate cancer in men over 60 than men with low levels of IGF-1, and premenopausal women with high levels of IGF-1 have up to a 7 times greater risk of breast cancer. In a study specifically evaluating non-small cell lung cancer patients and high levels of IGF-1 found the cancer victims had much higher blood serum levels of IGF-1 than the control group (non-cancer diagnosed patients) in the study.
Monsanto claims that IGF-1 never enters the humans intestinal tract due to enzymes that completely break down IGF-1 during the human digestion process—Independent researchers have found IGF-1 makes it way into the colon, the intestinal wall, and into the bloodstream.
Even Monsanto and the FDA have made ascertains about rBST that don’t agree—researchers paid by Monsanto claim that IGF-1 is destroyed by pasteurization, while FDA researchers report it is not.
Researchers have also witnessed a 25% increase of mastitis (inflammation and infection of mammary (udder) tissue), and a 50% increase of lameness in cows that have been injected with rBST. Not only does it appear the hormone compromises the cows health, the bacteria and resulting puss from mastitis finds its way into an injected cow’s milk—one hopes the laws that prohibit the sale of contaminated milk are looking out for the good of the consumer with greater fervor than it might appear other government agencies are.
Monsanto denies that the use of rBST has negative consequences, yet Monsanto hasn’t denied the increase of mastitis or lameness in cows as a result of using the hormone, rather it recommends the use of antibiotics they sell to deal with the issues.
A majority of American consumers want foods to be labeled with potentially harmful ingredients and the inclusion of rBST dairy is no exception—the FDA takes the position that allowing a company to label their product rBST-free when it is, stigmatizes rBST diary products as being less than healthy. This position was lead by Micheal Taylor who the Obama administration appointed to the FDA in 2009. Taylor was a partner in the law firm, King & Spalding when Monsanto applied for an approval of their drug rBST from the FDA in 1992.
Companies, including Swiss Valley Farms of Davenport, Iowa and the Pure Milk Company of Waco, Texas dared to accurately label their milk as being free of rBST. Monsanto then sued Swiss Valley and Pure Milk, which ended with these companies being banned from labeling their rBST products as rBST-free—or to put it simply, in order to protect the profits of ‘Goliath’ Monsanto, these companies could not tell the beneficial truth about their products.
Not only have limitations been put on companies that disallow labeling of rBST-free products, Monsanto has fought hard to prevent a mandatory labeling of rBST dairy that does contain the drug.
When money is put before quality and the greater good, look out!
What is to follow is rarely—IF EVER—good!!
In addition to Monsanto’s questionable research claims, during their review of Monsanto’s application for approval of rBST, Health Canada officials went on record to say that Monsanto tried to bribe them to report favorably on Monsanto’s application. And, FDA scientists testified that they were pressured to approve rBST, which was in conflict with their findings and better judgement about the approval of the engineered hormone.
Although Canada has a history of being pro-biotech, in 1999 they rejected Monsanto’s application for approval of rBST in their country, as did Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union, all stating concerns about the health risks for their citizens if the drug was approved.
Learn more about the development and corporate influence behind the approval of rBST and it’s effects on the health of humans and cows—
What’s in your Milk? By Dr. Samuel Epstein.
The U.S. government hasn’t joined the European Union and other countries from banning rBST dairy, but you can… Wild Zora has! We make every effort to use ingredients in our products that are of the highest quality to provide the safest and best nutrition possible and we always will!