Ben & Jerry's Fights To Promote The Safety Of Their Ice Cream

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Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., one of the first companies to label its ice cream as free of a synthetic hormone, is protesting a move by some states to restrict such labeling.

The ice cream maker has joined a national campaign to block what critics say is an effort driven by Monsanto Co., which markets recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST, also known as recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rBGH. Many people want to know if products contain this substance and Monsanto would rather you not, and they are trying to stop companies from advertising that they DON'T HAVE Monsanto's chemical additives!

The hormone, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to boost production in dairy cows in the early 1990s, was not approved in Canada, Japan or the European Union, largely out of concerns it may be harmful to animals.

A newly formed farmers’ group, backed by Monsanto, is pushing for labeling changes, saying the hormone-free labels imply that the milk is safer than other milk, when they say it’s not.

“There’s no question that rBST is safe,” said Carrol Campbell, a Kansas dairy farmer who co-chairs American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology, the new group. “That’s what’s so frustrating to us, that there are organizations out there that would indicate that it’s something other than safe.”

Under FDA guidelines, companies are allowed to claim that their milk comes from cows that were not treated with rBGH, as long as the labels do not “mislead consumers” to believe the milk is safer or better.

Monsanto says the issue revolves around accuracy in labeling, while critics say consumers have a right to know what is and isn’t in their food.

“We’re very concerned about, from a primary standpoint, the freedom of speech to be able to put what we believe is truthful and appropriate messaging on our packaging,” said Rob Michalak, a spokesman for Ben & Jerry’s.

So far, efforts to ban hormone-free labeling have stalled.


it's not about safe
Posted by wizeGurl on 2008-02-06 12:28:52
Some people just want to know that their milk doesn't come from cows treated with "milk steroids." 'Cause if steroids are bad for athletes, they're probably bad for cows, too. And do we really believe that the hormone doesn't come through in the milk, and has zero effect on humans? I'd like more proof from unbiased researchers on that.

Since farmers who don't use these chemicals on their cows get less milk per cow, one of the only ways they can stay in business is to advertise this and charge more for the milk.
Posted by Shadeaux on 2008-02-13 07:29:42
Personally, I want to know what I'm putting into my kids' mouths.And I often wonder if all the hormones being pumped into dairy cows is what's causing puberty to hit kids earlier and earlier these days.Of course Monsanto says it's safe, just like they used to tell people that DDT and lead paint was safe.Do we HAVE to wait 20 years to find out we've been poisoned once again?


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