Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Going rBH-free in Michigan

For months now, I have urged the childcare center to buy rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) free milk. "It's too expensive" is what I heard in response. This hormone, also known as rBST, is injected into cows every two weeks and causes them to produce more milk by way of a chemical called IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor). The drug, produced by Monsanto, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration back in 1993 . And despite the fact that Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and other countries have banned rBGH milk due to human and animal health concerns, our federal government continues to stand by its decision. Cows treated with rBGH have higher levels of IGF-1 and often develop serious health problems such as lameness, mastitis (which is treated with antibiotics), and reproductive problems. Is it possible that milk from cows treated with rBGH contains harmful substances such as IGF-1, antibiotics, or rBGH? Well, it turns out that several large dairy producers and food companies have taken it upon themselves to get rid of the rBGH in their milk supply. Michigan retailers have demanded that all of their fluid milk be rBST-free by February 1, 2008. According to the Michigan Dairy Review, "meeting this demand requires dairy producers currently supplying Michigan fluid markets to cease rBST use no later than January 1, 2008." This is great news for consumers and especially for children who drink large quantities of milk on a daily basis like the children at the childcare center. But is it necessary to wait until February, 2008 to begin protecting our children from this harmful substance?

Caroline's Lunchbox Menu, November 1: Breakfast - applesauce, O's; Lunch - Julie's tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwich on 100% whole grain bread, carrots; Snacks - peaches (canned this summer), persimmon

Childcare Center Menu, November 1: Breakfast - applesauce, french toast sticks, syrup; Lunch - tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwich, pears, cucumbers; Snacks - trail mix, pretzels

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I did not know about the Feb 1 deadline for Michigan!!! Fantastic! This has been one of my BIG bug-a-boos for a long time. Thanks for posting this!

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