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Happy Easter - what's in your milk chocolate? (7/4/2007)

Happy Easter!

1.Monsanto asks for more government regulation
2.Consumers Want rBST-Free Milk Labels, New Poll Shows
3.What's In Your Milk?

EXTRACT: ...Monsanto's genetically modified recombinant bovine somatotropin, rBST, was fast tracked--two FDA staffers were formerly with Monsanto--into the US food supply, unlabeled, in 1994.

It was never approved in the EU, Canada, Japan and most of the industrialized world.

But some never drank the milk shake.

Canadian scientists say Monsanto buried incriminating rat toxicity studies which demonstrated thyroid cysts and prostate concentrations.

Veterinarians report mastitis and lameness in treated cows--whose trip to the slaughterhouse comes quicker, often as downers, thanks to rBST--leading to pus and antibiotics in the milk.

Others contend the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) found in rBST has fueled the breast, colon and prostate epidemics witnessed in the US in the last decade.

Now Monsanto wants to kill the messenger. (item 1)

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1.In unusual move, biotech giant Monsanto asks for more government regulation
by Martha Rosenberg OpEdNews, 7 April 2007
http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_martha_r_070407_in_unusual_move_2c_bio.htm

It's just not a level playing field anymore says St. Louis based biotech conglomerate Monsanto.

Through deceptive practices and misleading advertising dairies and milk processors are convincing the American public that there's something wrong with [genetically engineered] rBST produced milk and they shouldn't be drinking it.

Dairy after dairy is slapping "rBST-free" and "no artificial growth hormones" on their milk--and it's working!

The public is asking for rBST-free milk--an "artificial demand" says Monsanto, no pun intended--and milk processors are starting to penalize dairies still using rBST.

Even Starbucks has seen the sales figures on the wall and renounced the controversial supplement; Chipotle vows to be next.

But it's not fair, says Monsanto in letters to the FDA and FTC asking the agencies to regulate their competitors.

Not only is there no difference between the two kinds of milk--if you disregard articles like the one linking rBST to ovarian hyperstimulation in the May 2006 Journal of Reproductive Medicine--consumers "pay higher prices for milk and get nothing in return" when they buy rBST-free milk says Monsanto.

Farmers will have a hard time trying to "operate profitably" without the drug and supplies themselves may start dwindling as milk processors and co-ops favor rBST-free producers.

Just look at some of the things Monsanto competitors are saying.

"By not using rBST, we protect the health of our cows, their milk and our customers," proclaims Dean Foods owned Alta Dena Dairy on its web site.

"Since 1857, Borden has taken a lot of pride in providing customers with premium, great tasting dairy products. That's why we work exclusively with farmers that supply 100% of our milk from cows that haven't been treated with artificial hormones."

"We treat our cows with love not rBGH [rBST]," says Kleinpeter Dairy in Louisiana on its milk cartons. "Many people believe that rBGH causes premature puberty in children. We want you to know that Kleinpeter Dairy is concerned about your children's healthy growth and wellbeing. Let our family comfort yours in this regard because our kids drink Kleinpeter milk, too!"

One dairy even has a web site where milk drinkers are "congratulated" for making "the decision to go rBGH free."

Is that fair?

Created by combining cow DNA with E coli, (yes, that E coli) Monsanto's genetically modified recombinant bovine somatotropin, rBST, was fast tracked--two FDA staffers were formerly with Monsanto--into the US food supply, unlabeled, in 1994.

It was never approved in the EU, Canada, Japan and most of the industrialized world.

But some never drank the milk shake.

Canadian scientists say Monsanto buried incriminating rat toxicity studies which demonstrated thyroid cysts and prostate concentrations.

Veterinarians report mastitis and lameness in treated cows--whose trip to the slaughterhouse comes quicker, often as downers, thanks to rBST--leading to pus and antibiotics in the milk.

Others contend the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) found in rBST has fueled the breast, colon and prostate epidemics witnessed in the US in the last decade.

Now Monsanto wants to kill the messenger.

In February, its Chief Counsel, Brian Robert Lowry, asked Sheldon Bradshaw, the Food and Drug administration's Chief Counsel, to issue warning letters to marketers bashing rBST.

Their "deceptive milk labeling practices have misled consumers about the quality, safety or value of milk and milk products supplemented with recombinant bovine somatropin," he wrote.

Of course a biotech multinational seeking more government intervention seems unusual.

Especially with Monsanto's reputation for trying to corner world food markets and flooding the food supply with unlabeled genetically modified products with undisclosed risks.

But at least Monsanto is playing fair.

It didn't, after all, create a doomsday mechanism for cows not treated with rBST to make them die so they can't reproduce.

At least not yet.

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2.Consumers Want Hormone-Free Milk Labels, New Poll Shows
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, APRIL 5, 2007
http://www.commondreams.org/news2007/0405-05.htm

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Eighty percent of consumers want milk produced without the hormone rBGH to be labeled as such, according to a poll released today by Food & Water Watch.

"Hormone-free and rBGH-free labeling is the way milk producers can communicate information that consumers need to make informed choices for themselves and their families," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. "The federal government should not limit information that eight of ten Americans want just to protect Monsanto's bottom line."

The U.S. government approved the use of rBGH in milk production in 1994. In response to increased consumer demand for rBGH-free milk, Monsanto recently asked the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission to restrict rBGH-free labeling.

CONTACT: Food and Water Watch
Jen Mueller - (202) 797-6553,
Email:
jmueller@fwwatch.org
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The survey, conducted by Lake Research Partners for Food & Water Watch, was conducted among 1000 adults living in private households in the continental United States from February 28 through March 5, 2007

Survey participants were asked:

Some milk comes from cows that have been treated with an artificial growth hormone called rBGH to increase their milk production. Other milk comes from cows that have NOT been treated with the hormone rBGH. Some people want to label dairy products according to whether or not they are from cows that have been treated with rBGH. What do you think? Should milk from cows that have NOT been treated with the hormone rBGH be allowed to be labeled as "rBGH free," or should that not be allowed?

Allowed to be labeled rBGH-free - 80 percent NOT allowed to be labeled rBGH-free - 15 percent Don't know - 5 percent

For more information, contact Patty Lovera (202) 797-6557 or plovera@fwwatch.org or download a 1-page results summary at http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/dairy/bovine-growth-hormone/FWWrBGHpol l.pdf/view?

Consumers can find companies that sell rBGH free dairy products in their state at http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/dairy/rbgh-free-guide

Additional background on rBGH-free milk labels can be found at http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/dairy/bovine-growth-hormone/full-story -rbgh-free-labels

Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer rights group based in Washington, D.C. that challenges the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources. Visit www.foodandwaterwatch.org

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3.What's In Your Milk?
Authored by Samuel S. Epstein, M.D.
http://foodconsumer.org/7777/8888/F_eatured_P_roducts_47/040604042007_Book_news_What_s_In_Your_Milk.shtml

An Expose of Industry and Government Cover-Up on the DANGERS of the Genetically Engineered (rBGH) Milk You're Drinking

Introduction by Ben Cohen, Co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Foreword by Jeffrey M. Smith, author of the bestseller Seeds of Deception

A powerful expose of the dangers of Monsanto's genetically engineered (rBGH) milk, and its no-holds-barred conspiracy to suppress this information.

rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) is a genetically engineered, potent variant of the natural growth hormone produced by cows. Manufactured by Monsanto, it is sold to dairy farmers under the trade name POSILAC. Injection of this hormone forces cows to increase their milk production by about 10%.

Monsanto, supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), insists that rBGH milk is indistinguishable from natural milk, and that it is safe for consumers. This is blatantly false:

* rBGH makes cows sick. Monsanto has been forced to admit to about 20 toxic effects, including mastitis, on its POSILAC label.

* rBGH milk is contaminated by pus, due to the mastitis commonly induced by rBGH, and antibiotics used to treat the mastitis.

* rBGH milk is chemically and nutritionally different than natural milk.

* rBGH milk is contaminated with rBGH, traces of which are absorbed through the gut.

* rBGH milk is supercharged with high levels of a natural growth factor (IGF-1), which is readily absorbed through the gut.

* Excess levels of IGF-1 have been incriminated as a cause of breast, colon, and prostate cancers.

* IGF-1 blocks natural defense mechanisms against early submicroscopic cancers.

* rBGH factory farms pose a major threat to the viability of small dairy farms.

* rBGH enriches Monsanto, while posing dangers, without any benefits, to consumers,

especially in view of the current national surplus of milk.

The risks of cancer to consumers and particularly their children, especially those enrolled in the Public School Lunch Program, are undisputable.

The book is a unique resource on rBGH milk. It presents Dr. Epstein's trailblazing scientific publications since 1989, which have played a major role in influencing other nations, including all of Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan to ban rBGH milk. The book also presents: the author’s editorials and letters to major newspapers, and correspondence with the FDA, Congressman John Conyers, and other key members of Congress and the Senate.

Epstein also details evidence of interlocking conflicts of interest between Monsanto and the White House, regulatory agencies, and the American Medical Association and American Cancer Society. He also details evidence of Monsanto's white collar crime; the suppression and manipulation of information on the veterinary and public health dangers of rBGH milk; and evidence of Monsanto's "Hit Squad," which attempted to stifle and discredit him.

Of compelling interest is the story behind Fox Television's firing of Jane Akre, a veteran journalist, following her in-depth interview on rBGH with Dr. Epstein, his subsequent day-long deposition by Monsanto on her behalf, her subsequent litigation against Fox, and Fox's successful counter suit.

Monsanto's corporate recklessness, compounded by FDA’s complicity and refusal to require labeling of rBGH milk, more than justify the rejection of any assurances of its safety. Of further interest is the critical relevance of this information to the ongoing growing concerns and debate on genetically engineered foods, including irrefutable evidence discrediting the "trust us" safety assurances of Monsanto, and other industries.

The book also presents resource materials, including listings of national and international anti-biotech, public health, veterinary and animal rights activist groups. Also listed are rBGH-free U.S. dairy producers, such as Horizon Organic, and Swiss Valley Farms.

ENDORSEMENTS

As evidenced in his new book What's In Your Milk?, Dr. Samuel Epstein has again made a very persuasive and important case about hidden dangers in every day consumer products. And not only does Epstein raise our awareness about possible carcinogens in our milk supply, but also about how special corporate interests seek to keep the public in the dark about documentation relating to health hazards of their products.

The book is a must read for every American consumer.
-Rep. John Conyers
Ranking Democrat
House Judiciary Committee

As one of the world's leading scientific authorities on genetically engineered rBGH milk, Dr. Epstein is uniquely qualified to address the hidden dangers in your milk. His new book, What's In Your Milk? is a powerful resource to help understand how you could unknowingly increase your own and family's risk for breast, colon and prostate cancer by drinking commercial milk that is tainted with a potentially dangerous hormone.

Do yourself a favor and read this book.
-Dr. Joseph Mercola
Founder of the world's most visited natural health site,
www.Mercola.com

A clear indictment of Monsanto and U.S. regulatory agencies for recklessly allowing rBGH milk, and other genetically engineered foods and ingredients, to be force-fed to consumers without any label warnings. This is all the more serious for rBGH milk in view of the solid scientific evidence on its dangers, documented in Dr. Epstein's new book.

Indispensable reading for food activists, and for the general public.
-Ronnie Cummins
National Director, Organic Consumers Association

With the collusion of government, pathologically self-interested corporations, typified by Monsanto, continue to deceive the public on issues vital to our lives and health. In highly readable prose, Dr. Samuel Epstein lays bare the facts, and tells us what we can do about it.
-Mark Achbar
Executive Producer and Co-Director, The Corporation

Legendary public interest scientist Dr. Samuel Epstein tells the outrageous story of how Monsanto forced its dangerous hormone drug rBGH into your family's milk through junk science, political influence, media intimidation and deceptive spin. Here's what was done, and is being done, to you by Monsanto and what you can do about it.

Got milk? Then get this book.
-John Stauber
author of Trust Us, We're Experts, and Toxic Sludge Is Good For You!

In the nearly 40 years since Epstein and I have been close friends, his life and work have been an epic of superb science, matched only by relentless and skilled activism. Epstein's new rBGH milk book is the latest affirmation of these unique qualities. It should help put a nail in the coffin of genetically engineered milk and food.
-Edward Goldsmith
Founding Editor, The Ecologist

Timely and pertinent, What's In Your Milk? is the most comprehensive review of the dairy industry's plunge into the darkness of bio-engineering of what we drink and eat. Epstein describes a massive international experiment including hundreds of millions of adults and children as unknowing suspects. The book's documentation of the cancer and other risks of rBGH milk make a compelling case for recognition of the role of public interest science in protecting the public interest.
-Quentin D. Young, M.D.
Chairman, Health and Medicine Policy Research Group

Since the mid-1980's, Dr. Samuel Epstein has done more than any other individual to track the shady and questionable co-mingling of government and the big milk money of the dairy industry. Now in his latest effort, What's In Your Milk?, Dr. Epstein provides a complete history of the approval process of the controversial rBGH dairy hormone, done without the public's knowledge or consent. With internal documents in hand, he traces two decades of government and industry suppression of health and safety data on genetically engineered milk--the template for all of the emerging irreversible genetically engineered (GE) materials on our grocery store shelves today.

This cautionary tale empowers citizens with the facts they need to confront our industries and government when it comes to our health and the environment.
-Jane Akre
Journalist and Whistleblower fired by Fox News over the rBGH story

Dr. Epstein is a world-class optimist. His optimism is that information on the dangers of rBGH milk will protect the public, especially in children, from these risks. Dr. Epstein's groundbreaking new book, What's In Your Milk?, is likely to prevent these risks.
-Peter I. Hardin
Editor/Publisher, The Milkweed (influential monthly publication covering the U.S. dairy industry)

This gripping book is a classic case history of how systemic corporate crime undermines public health and democracy. It is also an aspiring tale of how countervailing heroes can stop a corporate giant and show how great a difference one person can make.

Dr. Sam Epstein deserves high praise for his courageous and impeccable piece of science and scholarship.
-Kenny Ausubel
Author, Seeds of Change
Director, Bioneers

Dr. Samuel Epstein is a rare scientist these days who has the courage to speak up against powerful corporate interests overwhelmingly focused on their bottom line, with indifference to food safety. His battle against Monsanto's dangerous rBGH milk, detailed here, is a cautionary tale for our health writ large in a country increasingly beholden to corporate interests above public health.
-Anna Lappe
Co-author, Grub: Ideas for an Urban, Organic Kitchen

Dr. Epstein, true to form, as he has done this many times in the past, reveals a frightening account of a botched human experiment carried out on a huge scale by Monsanto, a profit- and power-hungry, deceitful and greedy biotech company, by forcing genetically engineered (rBGH) milk down the throat of the American public with the connivance of politicians and regulatory agencies. As the scientifically demonstrated health risks of rBGH milk are born mainly children and juveniles, this is the more detestable. I am glad that, despite huge political pressure from the U.S. and World Trade Organization sanctions, at least in this case, the European Union has put the health and well-being of its citizens before corporate profit, and banned the use of rBGH.
-Arpad Pusztai, Ph.D.

Leading international scientific expert on genetically modified foods

About the author:
Dr. Epstein is professor emeritus of environmental medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, and Chairman of the international Cancer Prevention Coalition.

He is the author of 270 scientific publications, and author or co-author of 12 books. These include the prize winning 1978 The Politics of Cancer, the 1995 The Safe Shopper’s Bible , and the 2005 Cancer-Gate: How to Win the Losing Cancer War. He is recipient of multiple awards, including the 1998 Right Livelihood Award (the Alternative Nobel Prize) for "incomparable contributions to cancer prevention, and for his leadership role in warning of the dangers of rBGH milk;" the 2000 Project Censored Award (the Alternative Pulitzer Prize); and the 2005 Albert Schweitzer Golden Grand Medal "for Humanitarianism, and International Contributions to Cancer Prevention."

Editor's note: Those who are concerned about the safety of the milk from hormone-injected cows may consider using organic milk.

To learn more about the details, visit http://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/general/milk.htm

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