rBGH in Our Dairy Products Part Two : Is Our Ice Cream Safe?

This was not originally intended to be part two of my series on rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) also known as rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) in Our Dairy Products. But here it is.

Something that left me feeling unsettled was the fact that Canadian and European regulators have found that the FDA completely failed to consider a study that showed how the increased IGF-1 in rBGH milk could survive digestion and make its way into the intestines and blood streamof consumers. These findings are significant because numerous studies now demonstrate that IGF-1 is an important factor in the growth of cancers of the breast, prostate and colon.

Then one day I was eating from my pint of Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche–my weekly no-fail indulgence–and realized… rBGH could be in my ice cream!  I wrote to Haagen Dazs via email, voicing my concern that their products might contain these hormones. Here is the response I received from the Consumer Response Representative:

“Also, sometribove increases a cow’s milk output by supplementing the animal’s own natural bST hormone. Extensive FDA study has shown that milk from treated cows has the same nutritional value and composition as milk from untreated cows. The decision to feed this supplement is made by the farmer and cannot be independently verified, since there is no method of differentiating between the hormone fed as a supplement and the hormone produced naturally by the cow.

Questions or concerns regarding the use of bST can be addressed directly to the FDA, the agency responsible for the approval of the hormone:
Mary Alice Miller, Chief
Education and Communication Branch
Center for Veterinary Medicine
456 Metro Park North II
7500 Standish Place
Rockville, MD 20855

I did not really find that comforting. But they did send me a coupon for a free pint in the mail.

What can you do?
Sign the Care2 Petition that asks the FDA “Why are we still allowing the use of rBGH?”

In the meantime, how am I supposed to cut myself off of my Dulce de Leche?!!

2 Responses

  1. Lynn,

    These are all great concerns. Way to go on contacting the company as well, though the response that they offer is weak. The answer to their claim is the same as the answer to yours: If you don’t guarantee that milk/ice cream is rBGH free, I won’t be buying it. Coupon or not. As far as guilty pleasures, we all have our hard-line/soft-serve values, as well as the treats that have no equivalent, BUT I will tell you that Ben and Jerry’s is rBGH Free. http://www.benjerry.com/activism/inside-the-pint/dairy/

    Great post!

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