Growth hormones in dairy, and National Poetry Month in Canada

Shocked by a grim if slightly dated tale about rBST – recombinant bovine somatotropin, marketed under the name “Nutrilac” – a synthetic hormone, developed by Monsanto through genetic engineering, that increases a cow’s ability to produce milk – which is allowed in US dairy cattle but banned in Canada and the EU. Despite intense lobbying by Monsanto, and a made-in-Canada whistle-blower scandal, eventually further study showed cause for concern over introducing it to the human food chain: but it is even more harmful to the health of dairy cattle, who suffer greater risk of lameness, infections and sterility when given it.

Bear that in mind when buying anything containing dairy products from the US. I’m not sure if there are any regulations at all that limit the use of US dairy products in this country – the regs only say we can’t give the hormones to our cattle. A number of dairy producers in the US now label their products as hormone-free, which is causing Monsanto to protest that such claims might make consumers think the hormone-free products are in some way ‘better’ than those which are produced with the benefits of Monsanto’s chemicals. Gosh…

More about milk another day. Meanwhile, National Poetry Month looms in Canada, and starting April 1st, the League of Canadian Poets will showcase poems by its members on a blog, whose theme is “Poetry Without Borders.”

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