Food & Water Watch: Not Even Monsanto Wants rBGH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2008
CONTACT: Food & Water Watch
Patty Lovera or Erin Greenfield
Not Even Monsanto Wants rBGH
Consumer Pressure Cripples Artificial Growth Hormone Used in Milk Production
WASHINGTON - August 7 - Monsanto’s announcement that it is “repositioning”
Posilac, its artificial growth hormone used in milk production and more
commonly known as rBGH, is good news for consumers but not the end of
the struggle for food safety advocates, warned the national consumer
rights organization Food & Water Watch today.
“News of Monsanto’s divestment of Posilac is one more sign that no-one
wants the growth hormone rBGH used in milk production, not even the
company that makes it,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director
Wenonah Hauter. “In the last year we’ve seen retailers including
Walmart, Kroger, and Starbucks fall like dominoes in the race to meet
consumer demand for artificial growth hormone-free milk. “
Food & Water Watch contends that the last several attempts by
Monsanto to salvage rBGH’s profitability have been underhanded. Just
last month, a widely publicized study came out with the claim that rBGH
was good for the environment. Much coverage of the study failed to note
that the lead researcher was in fact a Monsanto consultant and another
researcher was the company’s technical manager for rBGH.
“RBGH is not used by small-eco-friendly farms. The artificial hormone
has contributed to the growth of mega-dairy operations that cram
together thousands of cows generating mountains of waste that are toxic
to us and to our environment,” explained Hauter.
At the same time Monsanto tried to fix the image of rBGH, the company
has been trying to limit consumer information on the artificial
hormone. Faced with consistent resistance in the marketplace and a
failed attempt to get the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to
restrict “rBGH-free” labels even more, through the group AFACT,
Monsanto started going to state governments to limit “artificial
“Monsanto has been urging state agriculture departments and Governors
to deny consumers the right to whether or not rBGH was used on their
milk and that threat is very real no matter who is manufacturing the
hormone,” continued Hauter.
In Ohio, the consumer opposition to limiting labels was simply ignored
by the state agriculture department. Using a Freedom of Information
Act request, Food & Water Watch obtained all official comments
submitted to the agency. Of the handful of supporters of the rule,
every single one of them was connected to the dairy industry, meaning
they had a financial stake in the outcome of the rule.
“The bottom line is this is another victory for consumers against artificial hormones in milk,” concluded Hauter.
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer rights organization that
challenges the corporate control and abuse of our food and water
resources. The fact sheet rBGH: Anything But Green can be found at http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/foodsafety/dairy/rbgh-not-green