Monday, September 6, 2010

Are There Hormones In My Milk?

Hormones are naturally present in many foods of plant and animal origin, including milk. All milk naturally contains very small amounts of hormones, and science shows that there is no significant difference in hormone levels between organic milk, rbST-Free milk and regular milk. Science has proven hormone levels are very low in all milk (undetectable in many situations) and do not pose a human health risk.

Bovine somatotropin (bST) is a hormone that occurs naturally in all cows, and its physiological function is to help direct milk production. Through biotechnology, scientists have created a synthesized copy, known as rbST, which some dairy farmers choose to use as a milk production management tool on some cows. Science shows that the use of rbST has no effect on hormone levels in the milk itself. 

Since rbST was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the early 1990s, its safety has been affirmed and reaffirmed by the scientific community. This product was studied for nine years before receiving FDA approval. rbST technology has been extensively researched by many animal and human health organizations and there has never been one documented harmful effect to people. 

Scientists tell us that rbST is species-specific, meaning that it is biologically inactive in humans. Also, pasteurization destroys 90 percent of rbST in milk. Numerous scientific studies have shown there is no significant difference between milk from rbST-supplemented and non-rbST-supplemented cows. That's why the FDA has established that dairy products from cows treated with rbST do not need to be labeled. Supplementing cows with rbST does not change the composition, nutrition or safety of the milk.

Milk companies have responded to consumer requests for choices in the dairy aisle, and many now offer milk from cows not supplemented with rbST. This decision is due to market demand and is not related to any health or safety issue. All milk is wholesome, safe and nutritious.

There’s a common belief that there are differences in hormone levels and antibiotic residues in organic and regular milk. This is a myth. To read more on this subject, see my blog post What’s the Difference Between Traditional “Regular” Milk and Organic Milk?” 

For more information on this topic, see the following links:
Understanding Hormones: Feeling Confident in Your Milk 
What is Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (rbST)? 


1 comment:

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