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BST IS HERE

by Ted Zettel

("BST treatment produces an increase in the concentration of IGF-1 in cow's milk," says the report. IGF-1 can cause a disease in humans called acromegaly which causes abnormal growth of specific body such as the hands, feet and nose, as well as glucose intolerance and hypertension.)

As you read this article, there are probably already dairy products on the shelves of your local supermarket made from the milk taken from cows treated with the synthetic bovine growth hormone bovine somatotropin (BST). This product is available in the U.S.A., and is being reviewed for approval by Canadian regulatory agencies. Dairy processors here are scared stiff of massive consumer backlash and are asking for time to "educate the public". This will no doubt mean a media blitz proclaiming "all is well - there's absolutely no cause for alarm."

If you are capable of any independent rational thought processes, you don't need research results to know that BST is nothing except a big-time money grab by Monsanto and friends. But, in case you want to shoot down the "all is well" wishers with their own weaponry, take a look at this!

The U.S.A.'s Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) own report "Bovine Growth Hormone: Human Food Safety Evaluation" contains startling revelations about BST's impact on another potentially harmful hormone called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). "BST treatment produces an increase in the concentration of IGF-1 in cow's milk," says the report. IGF-1 can cause a disease in humans called acromegaly which causes abnormal growth of specific body parts such as the hands, feet and nose, as well as glucose intolerance and hypertension. It mediates the body's response to naturally-occurring hormones and has "acute metabolic and long-term growth promoting effects" according to the FDA. There are studies showing 25 to 70% increases in IGF-1, but the FDA says that most of it will be destroyed during pasteurization. Another study, published in the Journal of Dairy Research, found a 360% increase in IGF-1 after just seven days of BST use - when its use was implemented at a different stage than that in the FDA studies.

News reports repeatedly assure us that there is no detrimental effects to man or animal posed by BST. However, Monsanto's own studies submitted to the FDA report that clinical cases of mastitis were 1.79 times higher in treated animals. That's just one of a long list of possible disorders mentioned in the warning that accompanies every bottles of "Posilac", Monsanto's brand name BST. Swollen hocks, feet and leg problems, lower birth rates, decreased conception, retained placentas, cystic ovaries, and uterine disorders can also be expected.

Dr. Michael Hansen, research associate for the Consumer Policy Institute in New York (publishers of "Consumer Reports"), says BST shouldn't have been approved. "We need about ten more years of independent research on this," he says. "From now on I'm making my own milk and cheese. I don't want to expose my family to this."

The Ecological Farmers Association has already sent a petition to the people reviewing BST. It outlines our clear and persistent opposition to its use in Canada. We are encouraging members to write directly to any or all public officials including the Ontario Milk Marketing Board, Canadian Dairy Commission, Ontario Dairy Council, plus the Departments of Health, Consumer and Corporate Affairs, and Agriculture. Tell them simply that no one needs BST, or wants it; that you don't trust them when they say it's safe; and that you won't drink the milk! Let your voice be heard, so it can be counted.

Copyright 1994 Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


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