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Organic Bytes: Stop the Super Committee's Secret Farm Bill

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Stop the Super Committee's Secret Farm Bill

#301, November 3, 2011

In this issue:

* Victory of the Week: "No Artificial Growth Hormone" Labels (
* Urgent Alert: Super Committee Writing the Farm Bill?! (
* Label GMOs 2012: Signature Gathering Begins During the Holidays (!
* Occupy Monsanto: Occupy Wall Street & the Transition Movement (
* Podcast of the Week: Raw Milk Freedom Riders (
* Little Bytes (


Victory for Voluntary GMO-Free Labels!

Monsanto and Eli Lilly have successfully blocked consumers' right to know about factory-farm dairy production by concealing the use of their genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, a.k.a. rBGH or rBST.

Still, when it comes to voluntary labels on non-GMO food, consumers are winning!

The first blow to biotech was in 2010 when a Sixth Circuit court ruled that milk produced with synthetic hormones is different than milk produced without it and struck down a Ohio rule that would have removed "rBGH-free" labels from dairy products. The court found:

- A compositional difference does exist between milk from untreated cows and conventional milk.

- The use of rBGH (rbST) in milk production has been shown to elevate the levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a naturally occurring hormone that in high levels is linked to several types of cancers, among other things.

- rBGH (rbST) use induces an unnatural period of milk production during a cow's "negative energy phase." Milk produced during this stage is considered to be low quality due to its increased fat content and its decreased level of proteins.

- Milk from rBGH-injected cows contains higher somatic cell counts, which makes the milk turn sour more quickly and is another indicator of poor milk quality.

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