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Author: poinkie Big red star, 1000 posts Ticker Guide CAPS All Star SC1 Yellow Captain Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1074  
Subject: Re: Buying Dean Foods Date: 12/22/2010 4:39 PM
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FYI

The debate does center around rBGH (synthetic). Monsanto's Posilac has been the poster child for both sides of the debate (Consumer-harming evil empire/Consumer-responsible technology leader). rBGH is primarily administered to livestock to increase milk production 10-15%.

At issue is not the safety of the synthetic growth hormone, but the hormone's short term affects on the livestock & the long term affects to humans that consume products created through it application.

Consumer protection and health advocacy groups claim that 1993 FDA approval was based solely on the 90 day rat study (mentioned in your link) and did not include long term studies on the affects to humans. Monsanto successfully demonstrated dairy produced from cows treated with rBGH cannot be distinguished from untreated cows (as BGH is a naturally occurring hormone).

The primary argument is whether rBGH use in livestock increases the production of a secondary hormone IGF-1 which has been shown, in some studies, to trigger increased rates of some human cancers.

Animal rights activists claim that cows treated with rBGH have increased udder mastitis (which leads to more antibiotic usage - a different story altogether), increased hoof disease, greater rates of calf birth defects, intestinal disease, malnourishment...

rBGH is currently banned in Canada and under moratorium in the EU.

As a food professional I have tremendous access to local farm fresh rBGH-free products that are cost neutral. I personally feed my kids non rBGH food & use it exclusively in my work but mostly because I can (why not?). Many will say this isn't germaine to an investment conversation. I too see the winds of public opinion perhaps blowing more to the 'natural milk' side & am glad Deans is covering both sides.
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