Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) scientifically known as bovine somatotropin (BST), is a naturally occurring hormone. When ingested by baby cows, it stimulates growth. When taken by adult cows, it stimulates milk production. In the early 1990’s, scientists at Monsanto developed a synthetic version of BGH called recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH or rBST) via biotechnology. Their goal was to sell the hormone to dairy farmers with the value that it would increase the rate of milk production. Monsanto produced an inadequate study that observed 30 rats over 90 days of rBGH exposure to the FDA. The study was never published but according to the FDA, it did not show any issues. So, the FDA approved the use of rBGH! Monsanto now sells rBGH to dairy farms across the country with the continued support of the FDA. Today, about 20% of dairy cows, the majority in large herds (500+ cows), are injected with rBGH and as a result, milk production increases 8% to 17%. That is a lot of milk for the 20 billion gallon per year industry.
The use of rBGH is extremely controversial, so much so that Canada, Australia, Japan and the European Union all have prohibited the use of rBGH! It’s unbelievable that the FDA and USDA continue to permit the use of this hormone. The label on the container of the hormones actually lists over 20 toxic side that rBGH has on cows!! Bacterial udder infections in dairy cows that are administered rBGH have increased by 25%, which increases the use of antibiotics…*shudder* Due to these infections, bacteria, blood, pus and more not-so-appetizing things secrete into the milk. And folks, that’s why our milk needs to be pasteurized… Additionally, milk from cows injected with rBGH has higher levels of a hormone call Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1). Both colon and breast cancer have been linked to people with elevated levels of IGF-1. Additionally, the countries that have banned rBGH milk have done tests of their own with outcomes that have steered them from the use of rBGH in their country.