rBGH: It’s all about the money …

Conspiring to suppress information and deny freedom of speech to vendors and consumers alike is routine in business. Often the corporation with the most money to hire the most lawyers wins. Only a vigilant citizen democracy can save our basic freedoms (not to mention our health and well being).

The Organic Consumers site reports:

MONSANTO WANTS TO MAKE RBGH LABELING ILLEGAL: This week, Monsanto declared war on dairy companies that have chosen to ban the injection of their cows with Monsanto’s genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). Due to escalating consumer demand, an increasing number of large dairies around the U.S. have declared themselves rBGH-free in the last couple of years. Monsanto, the sole producer of the synthetic hormone, has seen substantial losses in sales as a result of this voluntary movement of the industry towards healthier milk. Although rBGH is banned in most industrialized nations, including Europe and Canada, due to its links to breast and colon cancer, the controversial drug remains legal in the U.S. This week, Monsanto filed a formal complaint with the FDA and Federal Trade Commission, demanding that labeling of rBGH-free diary products be made illegal.

On a more positive note, sometimes the good guys win against corruption and collusion in the revolving door between certain industries and government agencies.

MAD COW SAFETY TESTS LIKELY TO INCREASE THANKS TO USDA LOSING LAWSUIT: Creekstone Farms has won one of the most bizarre court cases the USDA has brought upon itself in recent years. Early last year, after the discovery of another case of Mad Cow Disease in the U.S., foreign markets tightened their ban on U.S. beef based on the fact that the USDA requires such a small percentage of meat to be tested for this fatal disease. In an attempt to maintain sales with customers overseas, Kansas-based Creekstone Farms announced it would voluntarily test all of its meat for Mad Cow Disease. Surprisingly, the USDA responded to Creekstone, saying it was illegal for them to have such high quality food safety testing. This action left Creekstone and its lawyers scratching their heads trying to figure out where in the law books it states that it’s illegal to test food for safety beyond what is required by law. Creekstone took the USDA to court and last week a federal judge ruled against the USDA. The results of the case will likely create a domino effect in the industry where more meatpackers will voluntarily choose to increase testing for Mad Cow Disease in order to allure international and domestic customers. Is it out of the question to envision meats in future supermarkets bearing the voluntary label “This meat has been tested for Mad Cow Disease”?

1 Comment

  • Alison Posted April 11, 2007 3:09 pm

    Yeah, I’ve been burning up about the rBGH labeling thing, too. I just can’t even believe we’re going there again.

    Ugh.

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