New Dairy Law In Ohio Designed To Strangle "rBGH-free" Labeling

Monsanto failed to get the FDA to ban “rBGH-free” labeling nationally, and it’s had mixed success at the state level. Now the company and its gang of ethics-free dairy farmers (those are the ones who use rBGH to increase profits, but want that truth kept out of the marketplace because it’s unpopular with consumers) have scored a significant win in Ohio this week. Yesterday the state passed a law that forces extra, rBGH-friendly fine print on every milk label that promotes itself as “rBGH-free.” The goal of the ruling: to require expensive label redesigns on competitors, and to crowd the label with unnecessary fine print in order to dilute the marketing power of the “rBGH-free” label.

The Columbus Dispatch explains some of the expected consequences of the ruling:

The Kroger Co., for example, recently made the switch to milk from cows who don’t receive the added hormone, saying that it’s what consumers wanted. Ben & Jerry’s Homeade Inc. has done the same.
 
Both companies argued against the rule change, saying it was a solution in search of a nonexistent problem and would require expensive labeling changes that would potentially hurt their position in the marketplace.
 
“They simply did not consider the costs of designing labels, not to mention marketing strategies,” said Jerry Slominski, senior vice president for legislative affairs for the International Dairy Foods Association, which represents 85 percent of the nation’s milk, cheese and ice cream makers.
 
Janene Holmes, marketing assistant for the Smith Dairy Products Company, told lawmakers that the family owned company pays its farmers a premium to supply milk from cows not treated with the growth hormone. The new labeling rule will require the company to move its hormone advertisement to a less prominent place on the label, Holmes said.

Food and Water Watch sent out the following statement (emphasis ours):

“On Monday, Ohio passed a milk-labeling rule that could deny all Americans important information about how their milk was produced. Governor Strickland, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s rule limiting hormone-free milk labels goes far beyond the Food and Drug Administration’s guidance. It is clear that this rule was crafted for industrial agribusiness and not consumers. It requires the prohibitive use of a misleading disclaimer, while banning accurate claims such as ‘rBGH-free’ and ‘artificial growth hormone-free.’
 
“In a nation where milk is sold across state lines and by national chains and distributers, labeling laws in just a few states will impact consumers nationwide. If other states follow Ohio’s lead, it will be challenging for national dairy companies who do not use artificial growth hormones to comply with differing state labeling rules. Already Kroger and Wal-Mart, while they’ve gone rBGH-free this year, have decided not to label their milk pending the outcome of the state-by-state battles.
 
“The effects of Ohio’s new rule will be felt throughout the country. Consumers everywhere will lose important information, as dairies struggle to comply with the worst milk-labeling rule in the nation.”

“Ohio adopts new dairy label rule for synthetic hormones” [The Columbus Dispatch]

RELATED
“Monsanto Is Trying To Ban Hormone Labeling At The State Level”
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. ChuckECheese says:

    First the dairy industry took TB and listeria out of my milk, and now this?

  2. Terek Kincaid says:

    “The goal of the ruling: to require expensive label redesigns on competitors, and to crowd the label with unnecessary fine print in order to dilute the marketing power of the “rBGH-free” label.”

    Bullshit. Just stop it, Chris. There is no test for rBGH, and if there was, they would not test every cow. What if there is contamination in the water supply, and the cows drink it? What if the feed they eat was grown in manure from cows treated with rBGH, and thus the cows ingest some? They aren’t rBGH-free, now are they? You simply cannot say they are rBGH-free if you do not test for it in every single cow you milk. It is scientifically and logically invalid.

    You *can* say the cows were not “treated” or “intentionally supplied” with artificial hormones, but that’s it. As always, it’s nearly impossible to prove a negative, and rBGH and rBST-free is the same deal. Sure, I’m sure the big dairies don’t mind it hurts the organic guys, but stop with the tinfoil hat bullshit. Please.

    AGAIN – rBST-FREE CANNOT BE PROVEN, THEREFORE CANNOT APPEAR ON THE LABEL.

  3. Monoplex says:

    I understood that the growth hormone given to cows was chemically identical to that which is produced naturally. So to say milk is BGH-free doesn’t make sense.

    It’s like labeling genetically modified crops.

  4. Trai_Dep says:

    Funny how Big Business is all about unfettered capitalism and the Magic of the Marketplace, until it involves sensible labeling that allows consumers to make an informed, personal choice.

  5. ARP says:

    @terekkincaid: I call astroturfing. Go back to K street. Stop with the FUD.

    Even organics allow some incedental amount of non-organic. If they don’t feed it to them intentionally or essentially create a r-BGH rich environment by surrounding them with the stuff, the biomagnification required to give them more than a sub-trace amount rBGH to be measured would be huge.

  6. Chris Walters says:

    @terekkincaid: It should be a given at this point—we’ve discussed it here and it’s been printed up hundreds of times in the media—that rBGH doesn’t end up in the milk supply. The label “rBGH-free” is marketing shorthand for a much longer phrase: this milk comes from cows who are not treated with synthetic growth hormone to deliberately increase their dairy production.

    Consumers may gravitate toward “rBGH-free” labeling because they’re afraid of technology, they’re against Monsanto’s business practices, they’re against manipulating livestock hormonally, or they just like the idea of making a lifestyle choice to only buy “organic” crap. The phrase “rBGH-free” signals to those consumers that the synthetic hormone isn’t part of the process. Your bigger argument–that it could be everywhere and is therefore moot–is completely indefensible at the macro level: some dairies deliberately use it and some don’t, and the ones who don’t would like to capitalize on that to realize whatever market advantage can be gained by it.

    Now about the “rBGH-free” phrase: it’s a silly phrase because as you all-caps shouted, the hormone doesn’t show up in any tests on milk that comes from rBGH-treated cows; all milk is free of rBGH. But the label serves as an effective shorthand for a consumer because it signals immediately the nature of how the milk is produced.

    You can fight to clarify the message, fine, but this and the attempts in Kansas and Pennsylvania are attempts to use the law to give an unfair advantage to dairies that use Monsanto’s hormone. If the rBGH-using dairies and people like you are so upset that people don’t like the idea of synthetic hormones, then start putting together PR campaigns to convince consumers it should be accepted. Don’t use regulatory obstacles to try to unbalance the playing field.

    And don’t write that it’s “bullshit” or “tinfoil hat” nonsense. That’s marketing spin, that’s you trying to disrupt the real argument by framing it in a way that suits your agenda.

  7. glater says:

    Humans also make testosterone in their bodies, but we don’t call weightlifters who use steroids “natural”, now do we?

    Same goes with cows. Yes, they produce growth hormones as they grow. Thanks for pointing that out, Doctor Sherlock. No, it’s not “natural” to start doping them up with loads of extra hormone.

    I want milk from regular old cows. Not cows that have been juiced, treated, pumped up and artificially inflated with stuff that reduces the cow’s quality of life (and quality of MILK) through over-milking and freakish infections, and puts stuff that I don’t know WHAT it’s going to do to me into MY FOOD SUPPLY.

    GTFO OF MY FOOD, CHEMICAL JUNKY.

  8. parad0x360 says:

    @glater: I agree with you 100%. There is no need to treat these animals. Evolution has put them where they need to be, who should we mess with that? Also its not like the price of milk will go down. Its only going up so why as a consumer would I ever want the milk thats coming from possibly freakish cows when I could get milk from “normal” cows for the same price?

  9. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    I’m buying the milk. I would rather buy a milk from cows that have not been treated with the hormone. I want the label to tell me this. Monsanto can rot.

  10. humphrmi says:

    I understand what the dairies that choose not to use hormones in their cows want to capitalize on that. And I also fully realize that the hormone producers like Monsanto are pushing these laws because they have everything to gain by diminishing the value of a food process that doesn’t introduce additional hormones (bought from Monsanto of course).

    But as a consumer, I’m a bit put off by companies that want to put ominous labels like “rBGH-free”, like that means something terribly important to your health, and not explain it on the label somewhere.

    Mind you, I don’t agree with this new Ohio law.

    Perhaps instead of worrying about the label, they should put something in large-ish letters on the side or back panel that says (for instance) “We produce this milk differently than other dairies. To find out why this matters, go to http://www.no-rBGH.com (or whatever).”

    Frankly I think this whole battle is a waste of time and resources on both sides. {dons flame-retardant suit}.

  11. m.ravian says:

    two words:

    SOY MILK.

  12. laserjobs says:

    Freedom of information is good last time I looked.

  13. fordpickup says:

    @lookatmissohio: I was just thinking that. Granted, I still eat yogurt and cheese, but you know, one step at a time.

  14. Parting says:

    But what about FREEDOM OF SPEECH ???

    Maybe I don’t understand USA’s legislation. How can they forbid it?
    (I mean, they can amend labels, to explain in more details what exactly it means, but how can government forbid it?)

  15. ChuckECheese says:

    In the case of doping, it is possible to prove a negative, viz., the lack of treatment, as evidenced by records showing that one’s cows aren’t pumped up with a quasi-sex hormone that increases lactation, and/or by blood and other tests. It is odd to me how so many people give such weight, credence and support to the desires of business to do as they wish, but they don’t respect the rights of consumers to take steps to look after themselves. It’s as if business’s perogatives were somehow more honorable than citizens’s. Such a strange idea that business should be able to operate independently of the wishes of the very people who buy and rely on their goods and services.

  16. theczardictates says:

    This is the most depressingly cynical political act I’ve read about all year. That politicians can be so blatantly, transparently in the pockets of lobbyists and corporations just makes me want to throw up.

  17. theczardictates says:

    @chuckecheese: “It’s as if business’s perogatives were somehow more honorable than citizens’s.”

    Yep. I’m a liberal precisely because I believe that people have consciences and should be allowed to exercise them, and corporations don’t and can’t.

  18. humphrmi says:

    @Victo: Product labels are advertising, not speech. Any nut can stand on the street corner and yell that if you don’t wear a tinfoil hat, the government will control your thoughts. But if someone sells a tinfoil hat and says “It prevents the government from controlling your thoughts” then that goes from speech to advertising, and likely deceptive advertising at that.

    I’m not saying that the “rBGH-free” dairies are deceptive. But it’s the same reason that their labels are regulated.

  19. evilhapposai says:

    @lookatmissohio: One word: VOMIT. Stuff is so gross I cant even keep it down.

    This is why you DONT vote democrat in a farming state.

    Strickland has approved some dumb laws since he has come in that majorly hurts farms, food production, and the rural area in general. Not to mention the ton of other big brother laws passed on his watch that effect the whole state.

    I think I like things better when we had a republican gov’r and a democrat house….nothing ever got done and things stayed as they had been for years.

  20. Chris Walters says:

    One solution: come up with a trademarked logo and phrase, something like “Natural Process” for example, and band together with all the other dairies that don’t use rBGH to create what’s basically an industry-wide seal of approval. Avoid the rBGH discussion altogether by creating a seal that communicates to shoppers, “This product was produced without the addition of synthetic hormones or blah blah blah.”

  21. ChuckECheese says:

    @Victo: You ask a good question. Freedom of speech died in this country many years ago, as houses were built close enough together that we could actually hear each others’ speech. We decided we didn’t like what we heard.

    Seriously though. Freedom of speech has always been constrained by other legitimate social needs. Food labeling is one of these places. Food manufacturers have long been curtailed by the gummint when their packaging made false and exaggerated claims. The food mfg & distribution industries have long been in favor of preventing the labeling of food with objective information, such as ingredient & allergen lists and nutritional data. They are in favor of labeling requirements when those requirements allow them to say things that will make their products more appealing, whether or not the package statements are true.

    rBGH is a perfect example of this. Many consumers dislike the idea of drinking milk that was goaded into production by hormones. Some dairies decided to abstain from these drugs, and they said so on their labels. There is a slight financial benefit (for producers) to using these drugs, and the companies that did use them didn’t want to face rejection in the marketplace. Solution? Censor rBHG labeling from packaging so people cannot make an informed choice.

    All of the pseudo-scientific babble and political haranguing you read about or hear about is really just white noise to cover up the sound of back-room dealing and the jingle of favors being exchanged. It is not germane to the problem at hand. The creation of a law such as this is a perfect example of corrupt politicians being firmly in the greasy hands of corporations.

  22. humphrmi says:

    @Chris Walters: This is exactly how Kosher food is marked in America. The FDA and states do not (and probably can not) regulate what is considered Kosher because the various Kosher food organizations set their standards, and when the food makers meet those standards, they are granted a license to put that Kosher food organization’s trademarked symbol on their packaging.

  23. B says:

    @Chris Walters: Could they call it Organic? Oh wait, the FDA lets you put Organic on just about anything these days, anyways.

  24. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Sounds like a major First Amendment case will come out of this idiocy!

  25. GamblesAC2 says:

    @BannedbyChris-Thanks: well actualy they can test the cows milk for excess levels of BST (I think)

  26. nequam says:

    @parad0x360: I understand your point, but it is naive to think that that there has been no engineering in rBGH-free cows. Evolution has not adapted cows to their present circumstances, people have forced them into the adaptation through selective breeding and by feeding them with a type and level of nutrition the cows would never have received if left to their own devices.

    I am not against the use of rBGH, but I understand that some consumers are against it and may want to pay more for milk from untreated cows even if there is no verifiable difference in healthfulness. My concern is that , rather than simply responding to people’s fears, rBGH-free dairy operators will feed the fear.

  27. nequam says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: Commercial speech is not protected.

  28. Dillenger69 says:

    so, what is this fine print and where can we find it?
    Neither the article above nor the source article mention what this horrible text is.

    That tells me that it’s either so huge it’s not worth printing, or that it’s so inconsequential that this is really no big deal.

  29. humphrmi says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: So your mortgage broker tells you that you can always refi this loan before the teaser rate resets, and that’s predatory lending, not free speech. But label regulations are free speech. Huh?

    My point is, you can’t have it both ways. There’s no difference between a salesman selling you a bill of goods and a product label selling you a bill of goods. You can’t regulate the bad guys and give the good guys free reign. The government can’t tell the difference.

  30. spinachdip says:

    @nequam: Not exactly – commercial speech *is* protected like just any other speech. What the First Amendment doesn’t protect is the freedom to defraud.

    It’s the old yelling-“fire”-in-a-crowded-theater – you have every right to say the word “Fire”, but you don’t have the right to cause a stampede.

  31. gamehendge2000 says:

    @BannedbyChris-Thanks:

    Yes, we cannot prove that you don’t have a intelligent thought.

  32. SuperJdynamite says:

    @BannedbyChris-Thanks: How about “unrBGHed”?

  33. KogeLiz says:

    I guess I don’t really care about this issue.
    I tried… but ::shrug::

  34. CharlieInSeattle says:
  35. richcreamerybutter says:

    @KogeLiz: watch a documentary like”The Future of Food” and you just might start caring.

    I noticed an interesting label on domestic Trader Joe’s cheeses today: it was an “rBGH-free” label, with a disclaimer that there is no proof that rBGHs cause any health issues (can’t remember the exact phrasing). Is this a result of regional distribution?

  36. MissGayle says:

    They claim there is “no difference’ between milk from natural cows and milk from cows treated with their laboratory products, but in reality treatment with the artificial hormones raises (anywhere from 25-400% more) I-GF1, a related hormone which interferes in normal Insulin reactions in the body producing all sorts of health malfunctions such as metabolic syndrome, insulan resistance, even breast cancer in both women and men. These levels are easily detectable and of course Monsanto never tests for them.

    Monsanto is a dangerous, greedy company and all their products should be avoided like the plague they are.

  37. LUV2CattleCall says:

    FWIW, try making yogurt at home with milk from rGBH cows…then try making it with milk from non rGBH cows. The non-rGBH yogurt takes forever to form, and when it does, it’s usually spoiled by that time. That right there is evidence enough for me that “treated” milk has something in it that causes above average growth rates of organisms – something that I would rather not have in my body.

  38. nygenxer says:

    @Chris Walters:

    Well said.

  39. RvLeshrac says:

    @LUV2CattleCall:

    A single “experiment” done in an uncontrolled environment does not trump real scientific evidence.

    I’m all for banning rBGH when there’s evidence of serious health risks – but none has been shown. Not even evidence of minor health risks.

    I’m not for legislation such as this, however. I have no problem with the “…has not been shown…” disclaimer being required, but saying that they can’t market products without rBGH as not including it seems wrong.

    That said, the labels, even with the disclaimers, are anti-science, much like the “organic” and “no GM” labels are anti-science. You can feel free to be crazy and pay markedly higher prices for such foods, but the fact of the matter is that we NEED these new growing methods to feed the world’s ever-growing population.

  40. RvLeshrac says:

    @Chris Walters:

    Oh, and anti-rBGH and anti-GM really are both “tinfoil hat nonsense.” They’re just not harmful until, say, starving third-world nations are scared into not accepting millions of tons of food.

  41. nygenxer says:

    @KogeLiz:

    You might care if you stop to think about how much PUS you like in your milk!

    The pus (or “somatic cell count”) is in the milk because of the rBGH causes a painful, infected pus-covered inflammation of the cow’s udders and guess where the pus goes? Right into the milk, the cheese, iced cream etc., etc., etc.

    So there’s an additional animal cruelty issue (it is VERY painful to the cows] and outright disgusting issue for people to consider.

    BTW, have you tasted organic milk? It’s delicious!

  42. RvLeshrac says:

    @RvLeshrac:

    Oh, my bad. I misread and thought they’d passed a banned-labelling law.

    I completely and wholly support this particular law. “rBGH-free” and “rBST-free” labels simply fool the consumers into thinking that these products are “safer” than other products.

    It is no better than selling homeopathic drugs – such as Head On – and placing “No side effects!” on the label without also mentioning that there aren’t any provable effects at all.

    Unless you’re perfectly fine with scaring/tricking consumers into paying a premium for products which have no benefits.

  43. RvLeshrac says:

    @nygenxer:

    You’re only half-right. I’m not going to bother going into great detail, as every agricultural school across the country has done studies on SOCC and published the results, but the gist of it is this:

    -Somatic cells are present in ALL milk, regardless of the animal (humans, too), and regardless of the conditions. “Organic”/rBGH/rBST-free milk is NOT free of SOCs. “Organic” milk may actually have HIGHER SOCCs due to the non-use of antibiotics.

    -The FDA requires that SOC testing be done on ALL milk to ensure that the SOCC remains at a tolerable level.

    While we’re on the subject of food safety… if SOCC bothers you, you should refrain from ever eating any products which contain grains, fruit juices, berries, or meats. All of them contain various small organisms (insects/bugs, I’m not talking microorganisms), molds, etc.

    And definitely refrain from ever eating cheeses. They spend the majority of their aging encased in mold. Not to mention that, well, the edible part is all mold, too.

  44. @humphrmi: The only problem with your suggestion (which was a good one, by the way) is that I don’t usually carry a laptop with me inside the grocery store. ;-)

    Food labels should be clear and concise. Clothing labels tell you where the clothes were made and their fabric content, and they only go on your body. Food should be labeled just as clearly.

  45. nygenxer says:

    @RvLeshrac: I’m glad you’re not in charge of food safety if you really accept the “scientific studies” (funded by the same corporation that is seeking to make a profit) as being inherently honest!

    No one alive today can be ignorant of the harmful effects of conflicts of interest, nor of products first thought to be harmless but later found to be harmful. There’s just too many to list.

    You say: “I’m all for banning rBGH when there’s evidence of serious health risks – but none has been shown.”

    How do you define “serious health risks” where public health is concerned? What compelling reasons do you to convince me that this is so vital that we need to experiment with this on my family? In America don’t we have the choice to NOT take part of an experiment, or to decide how and what I feed my family?

    I question the judgement of anyone willing to risk public health when the only possible benefit is to Monsanto’s shareholders.

    Bottom line: the public doesn’t want to be experimented on, and we have a right to know about our food!

    That’s it. End. Of. Discussion.

  46. nygenxer says:

    @RvLeshrac:

    “-Somatic cells are present in ALL milk, regardless of the animal (humans, too), and regardless of the conditions. “

    Yes, there is a difference between suckling nutrition from a healthy mammalian breast as opposed to a one covered in pus. Which teat would you prefer your children to feed from?

    “-The FDA requires that SOC testing be done on ALL milk to ensure that the SOCC remains at a tolerable level.”

    Yes, that’s what we’re discussing: “tolerable levels.” Minimizing the amount of pus you eat is a good thing because the pus isn’t removed from the milk, it’s just neutralized (so you’re still drinking it). Also, the higher the pus count, the more antibiotics are fed to the cow…which is also bad.

    And then “RvLeshrac” COMPLETELY changes subject for the rest of his comment, talking about insects/bugs, molds and cheesemaking.

    This is the hallmark of somebody who completely lost an argument and is out of things to say.

  47. mmstk101 says:

    @nygenxer: um, so I almost threw up just now.

    “pus” is probably one of the grossest words ever.

    Monsanto hates babies.

  48. bohemian says:

    Beyond the increased pus factor treated milk has excessive levels of IGF-1. That can increase all sorts of problems including cancer.
    [www.organicconsumers.org]

    I drink organic or no rbst milk mainly because those are the only types of milk that don’t make my throat irritated and full of mucous. I thought I had developed a milk allergy until we switched to rbst free organic and I didn’t have the reaction.

    I also have issue with the cruelty factor of jamming cows full of synthetic hormones.

    Bottom line is this is my educated choice to make and I want this information on milk labels.

    Monsanto can DIAF.

  49. I would fully support the label change under one condition: Monsanto and other companies have to add a label stating our cows are given synthetic hormones. That would be fair

  50. SadSam says:

    For me, rGHB free is more about the process than the outcome. Its more like a “Made in the USA” or “Fair Trade” label. As a consumer, I prefer to buy rGHB free milk because I think the cows are treated better and that is important to me. And I’m willing to pay more for milk produced without rGHB b/c I understand that a farmer can’t produce as much milk.

    While I think it would be helpful to have better labeling across the board consumers should be able to obtain as much info as possible about how and where their food is produced.

  51. WhirlyBird says:

    Wow, the industry shills are busy up in this thread. Thanks for banning the obvious one, Chris.

  52. BigElectricCat says:

    @BannedbyChris-Thanks:

    “You simply cannot say they are rBGH-free if you do not test for it in every single cow you milk. It is scientifically and logically invalid.”

    This comment on your part belies an apparent ignorance on the topics of scientific testing, statistics and food safety.

  53. bohemian says:

    @WhirlyBird: You would think they would be able to hire people with a better ability to not be obnoxiously obvious about it.

  54. meeroom says:

    @parad0x360:
    Exactly! I don’t want to buy genetically modified, chemically enhanced food. I don’t know what it could do to me or my family down the road. Why is that such a problem?
    I invested in a CSA farm this year and I am thrilled that they have milk and eggs. I will actually know where my food is coming from! Amazing that this is so unusual.

  55. GhoulsNGhosts says:

    At the moment, my main question about the whole situation revolves around consumer choice.

    What rights do consumers have when choosing which products we wish to purchase? What information are we entitled to have when making purchase decisions?

    I want to be able to make informed purchases based on my preferences. I want to be able to look at, and effectively compare products. I’m at the grocery store. Two brands of milk are on the shelf. One is from cows treated with rBGH. One is from cows that were not treated with rBGH. Do I have a right to know the difference?

    I feel the above is one of the most important issues at hand. If I do have the right to know the difference, the issue becomes one of how I will be informed about the difference. The issue about labels changes from whether or not we should label products, to how do we label products to inform the consumer, as per their right to be informed.

    I’m trying not to get ahead of myself, as I don’t want this issue to be mixed in with others. Disregarding things such as health concerns, or whether or not tests for rBGH are valid, and such, I ask- Do I have the right to know the difference between the two milks on the shelf?

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, all.

  56. UnicornMaster says:

    IMAGINE THIS: “The Food & Drug Administration finds that there’s no significant difference between Organic and Non-Organic foods.”

    It’s superfluous and only serves to undermine the marketing advantages of natural foods.

  57. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @nygenxer:

    I like organic milk too, I just can’t figure out why it lasts longer (& I’m going by the expiration date here) than the “normal” milk we occasionally get at the corner store.

  58. styrofoam says:

    Labeling on my Kemps Select milk in Minnesota has the Ohio Labelling on it exactly.

    The disclaimer about “there has been no proven difference between milk that is or isn’t rBGH free” is directly under the label proclaiming the milk to be rBGH free.

    I haven’t studied other brands lately, but I’ll assume they’re all bound by the same policy.

    I bring this up just to say that I don’t think this is going to totally kill the market for rBGH milk in Ohio, because there seems to be enough demand (and room on the label!) for this stuff in other markets.

  59. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    Why does organic milk last longer than non-organic milk? My wife and I just got back from a week of vacation and the first thing I told her was that I was going to toss all the milk. She told me since it’s organic it keeps for up to 2 months. Well it’s been 2 weeks and the milk tastes just fine. Non-organic milk we’ve bought before would be nasty by now.

  60. lowlight69 says:

    @Chris Walters: Thank you, couldn’t have said it better my self. :)

  61. adrock75 says:

    For more on the blood-sucking satan loving Monstanto, check out Vanity Fair this month. There’s a good article on this issue.

  62. silentluciditi says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: Organic is usually ultra-pasturized, giving it a longer shelf life. It’s not pumped full of antibiotics or hormones, and the pasturaization process helps kill off any of the buggers in the milk.

    We grew up with milk delivery and all natural, rBGH free milk. When I moved out I had to buy milk from the store for the first time- gross! I switched to organic milk and haven’t looked back- it just tastes better! And while there may be no standardized tests that can tell the difference between rBGH treated and non-rBGH milk, the taste test can. Try it!

  63. kbarrett says:

    Simple solution.

    Have a private org create a standard that excludes all this monsanto frankenfood, and trademark it … something similar to “Kosher”.

    Vendors want it on their food, then they have to pay for it and meet the standards the private org sets.

    “Organic” and “non-rBGH” can be abandoned due to government interference.

  64. HappyPig says:

    This isn’t directly related to the quality of milk, but as a microbiologist who works on Staph infections (which are a big problem in cows), it’s well known that less injections into dairy cows results in less infections. This means less treatment to the cows needs to be done (antibiotics, etc.), and lowers the development of resistance to the applied antibiotic.

    And since there’s often overlap between the use of families of antibiotics in humans and farm animals, the less resistance in cows, the better for us.

  65. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @nequam:
    Commercial speech is definitely protected. There have been Supreme Court rulings on that several years ago.
    Corporations are legally considered to be the equivalent of a person.
    As long as the speech is truthful & not libelous, no government can regulate it except for a few SEC regulations about news releases due to their effecting stock prices & insider trading.

  66. neilb says:

    We need to do something. British milk products taste a world better than the American junk I have been eating my whole life. It is more than the difference between skim and whole…it is a totally different range of flavors. It makes me really sad to see what we put up with and that there really is no way around it for the average consumer. I have joined a CSA, buy from a small-scale egg farmer, and buy locally-bred and raised responsible beef. Milk is the last chain and NO ONE will mess with it. It is too heavily regulated to be worth the time of a small-scale operation. Small-scale dairies HAVE to be encouraged more (or at all, I guess).
    BTW, I am writing my governor (Stickland) right now.

  67. baristabrawl says:

    They don’t need to consider marketing strategies, or relabeling. If they post signs in their stores on the milk cases and take out print, radio and television ads, they won’t have to relabel their gallons at all. It’s like trans-fat free. I pretty much just assume that fast food is there, now. If they aren’t…why do I care?

    But this does make me want to support Kroger! I’ll go buying their milk…watch me.

  68. nygenxer says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn:
    I don’t know why organic milk lasts longer, but if someone put a gun to my head, I’d pull some basic science out of my a$$ starting with: spoiling is a microbiological process that’s slowed by pasteurization, right? Pasteurization isn’t 100% effective, otherwise milk would never spoil and you wouldn’t have to keep it cold, right?

    So, since pasteurization it isn’t 100% efficient, maybe organic milk lasts longer because it has less harmful bacteria in the milk to start with? I mean, if I’ve gotta clean a window, the glass gets a lot cleaner with the same amount of detergent if the window is already pretty clean to begin with, right?

    OK, so organic milk comes from cows that are healthier – which means less infections, less antibiotics, less hormonal stress from rBGH (and even less emotional stress for the lucky few who are allowed to go outside and graze) so there’s less nasty microbes in the milk to begin with, right? Also, since they’re fed grass instead of corn and that allows the healthy, naturally-occurring bacteria (normally wiped out by the antibiotics) of the cow’s four stomachs to do their thing, the ratio of remaining good bacteria to bad bacteria is higher, right?

    So it seems to me that by starting out with healthier cows and respecting their natural digestive system, you end up with a cleaner product before you even pasteurize. I’d also guess that being made on a smaller scale (even if it’s a subsidiary of a larger industrial farm) with less focus on cost allows for the more attention to detail necessary to doing a better job – and true with just about everything, right?

  69. nygenxer says:

    @mmstk101:
    Sorry. I’m a red pill kinda guy. Spend the extra dollar and tomorrow’s breakfast will taste better.

  70. nygenxer says:

    @Jaysyn:

    Hi – please see my best guess to “stanfrombrooklyn.”

    (I didn’t know how to respond to two people at once. Sorry!)

  71. gig says:

    Monsanto is a cancer causing parasite and everyone who is involved in the manufacture of Monsatos products should spend the rest of their days eating only the chemical laden frankenfoods that have forced down the throats of the US population. This company has bribed its way to influence product safety laws and every government agency so connected so that it could continue to earn billions.

    rBGH increases the risk of cancer. If you don’t believe that then by all means drink the milk. But we should all have a choice. It is banned in Europe and Canada for a very good reason. Monsanto would lose billions if it were banned here. Our government cares more about the influence of his money which he donates to every campaign than they do about the health of the people. American made cheeses are contaminated as well. The FDA trivializes the potential effects and that is disgusting. And those who fall for this propaganda need to wake up.

    And lets not forget about the poor cows who are lactating 365 days a year who have an 80% incidence of mastitis and udder infections resulting in pus and contamination of milk, the need for antibiotics to treat this which also leaves a residual in the milk for human consumption.

    People need to insist upon rBGH free dairy. People need to avoid all Monsanto products: Roundup Herbicide, GE rice, corn, soy and canola, Aspartame aka Nutrasweet and Equal, toxic carpeting, dioxin which was one of two chemicals in Agent Orange which is in disinfectants including in Lysol. I am sure there are more.

    This company only unleashes products that kill. They cover up, bribe and are ruthless. They dominate our food supply and it is up to the consumer to say no because no one else is going to protect you from this killer.

  72. gig says:

    Oh and lets not forget Saccharin was Monsantos too. And Monsanto said that was safe.

  73. richcreamerybutter says:

    Isabelle, please stay away from slow-moving white vans while you’re out walking! ;)

    I’d also say, don’t forget about the lawsuits against farmers whose land happened to catch airborne Monsanto frankencorn, or the ridiculous seed patents, or that their corn has now infected the heirloom supplies of Mexican farmers, or their blatant disregard for the safety of kids (for so many reasons), etc…phew, lost my breath!

  74. Hachi says:

    The fact that people are arguing FOR monsanto’s side on the consumerist sickens me. People are arguing the side of consumer deception and introduction of products that are OK’d on anti-scientific grounds.

    Some things people in the real world like to call “Facts”.

    Fact 1: The US is the ONLY developed country that has ok’d the use of rBST (AKA rBGH AKA posilac) and it has been banned in Canada and the EU.

    Fact 2: rBST causes a otherwise rare disease in cows known as “mastitis” which increases the chances of and complicates infections in the cows udders.

    Fact 3: Cows treated with rBST have trouble reproducing, have increased ovary size and other birthing difficulties.

    Milk produced by cows treated with rBST has significantly more puss (as related to the mastitis infections) and typically to fight the infections it has significantly more antibiotics.

    The united states is the ONLY major country that uses posilac. Everyone here arguing for it sounds like a Lobbyist or other chem industry cronie.

    Please gtfo of consumer advocate groups.

    I’m well sick of the american ‘innocent until proven guilty’ attitude when it’s applied to chemicals and or other scientific issues.

    I want to be sure that what I am eating is safe. I don’t want the only comfort to be “well there haven’t been any human related illnesses yet”. I want the consolation to be “it’s been thoroughly tested and is safe for consumption”.

    Anything that is anti-regulation is anti-science.

    And with monsanto’s track record? See also: Nitro plant. Anniston plant. Agent Orange. Dioxins. PCB’s. Aspartamine. RoundUp. RoundUp Ultra sprayings in columbia. And as previously mentioned Seed patents. Transgenic contamination. Groundless law suits vs farmers. And to top it off, conflicts of interest in regards to the EPA (several employees swap between monsanto and EPA), Supreme court (Clarence Thomas) and former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld (former CEO of monsanto subsidiary).

  75. Hachi says:

    I cant believe people on Consumerist.com are arguing for for monsanto. Please, you sound like chem industry lobbyists.

    Here are some facts:

    Fact 1: The US is the only developed country in the world that has ok’d the use of rBST.

    Fact 2: Cows treated with rBST form mastitis far more often than cows who are not treated with it. Mastitis causes infection of the udders and results in puss entering the milk and greater reliance on antibiotics.

    Fact 3: Cows treated with rBST also have more birthing difficulties and reproductive problems.

    Monsanto is anti-science in the fact that it is anti regulation. Why are chemicals assumed safe until proven otherwise?

    With monsanto’s track record (PCB’s, DDT, Dioxin, Agent Orange, Aspartamine, over 50 superfund sites, persecution of farmers, near monopoly in the market of seeds, applying for a patent that would grant them ownership of pigs (essentially all pigs), roundup being linked to NHL, Roundup ULTRA spraying in Colombia, Transgenic contamination and countless others) I think it’s safe to say there is no reason to trust this company and taking the stance that labeling foods as “rBGH free” is misleading is indefensible.

    Implying that consumers do not have a right to know how their food is produced is ridiculous.

  76. femmesavante says:

    Monsanto = evil. I’ve been saying it for 10 yrs now. Someone please listen.

  77. nygenxer says: