HIDDEN DANGER IN YOUR MILK?
Dr. Robert Collier, chief Monsanto BGH scientist: "In fact, the FDA has commented several times on this issue after there were concerns raised. They have publicly restated human safety confidence this is not something knowledgeable people have concerns about."
Calf in pen: "Moo!"
NARRATION 6: While other companies have dropped by the wayside, Monsanto has invested a mountain of money into Bovine Growth Hormone. Company sales tapes encourage farmer's to use it as a tool to milk more profits out of every cow.
Video clip of Monsanto sales tape: "Of course you’ll want to inject Posilac into every eligible cow, as each cow not treated is a lost income opportunity."
NARRATION 7: A number of critics including at least one state agriculture commissioner have called it "crack for cows" for the way it speeds up the cow's milk production but despite it's promise of profit, some dairymen say the product doesn’t always lead to happy trails for the cows or for those who tend them.
Charles Knight, Florida Dairy Farmer: "It’s a tool that can be used but you better be careful ‘cause it can burn you"
NARRATION 8: Near Wachula, Charles Knight won’t use Monsanto’s synthetic BGH anymore. He is one of many farmers who say they’ve watched Posilac burn their cows out sooner, shortening their lives by maybe two years. Knight says he had to replace 75% of his herd due to hoof problems and serious udder infections. Those are two of more than 20 potential troubles listed right on the product warning label. But apart from potential suffering for the animals, the major concern is how the hormone injected into the cow changes the milk that ends up on our tables.
Dr. Robert Collier: "this is the most studied molecule certainly in the history of domestic animal science."
NARRATION 9: While that claim may be open to dispute, the Monsanto product did put the product through a decade's worth of testing before it was approved by the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine as an animal drug. But that's part of the problem, according to many scientists who say since BGH alters the milk we drink, it should meet the higher safety standards required of human drugs. The critics say tests on BGH milk that could have answered these concerns about long-term risk to humans were just never done.
Dr. William von Meyer, Research Scientist: "A human drug requires two years of carcinogenic testing and extensive birth defect testing. BGH was tested for 90 days on 30 rats at any dose before it was approved."
Dr. Robert Collier: "But suffice it to say the cancer experts don't see the health issue and it's unfortunate the public is being scared by an issue that shouldn’t be of concern."
NARRATION 10: Monsanto’s dairy research director points to what the FDA has repeatedly said since the day it approved BGH back in 1993: "The public can be confident that milk and meat from BGH-treated cows is safe to consume."
Nonetheless, influential food safety officials from around the world remain unconvinced. Just last summer, the members of an important United Nations committee again blocked efforts to give a virtual green light to selling the drug around the world. For the second time in two years, the committee decided synthetic BGH needs more study.
Reporter Jane Akre: "So just how many dairy cows in Florida are being injected with this synthetic hormone? No one knows for sure, but it’s enough to virtually assure that at least some of the milk in every jug you bring home from the supermarket these days comes from treated cows."
Excerpted from: Jane Akre, WTVT Channel 13 in Tampa Florida;
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