Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc. -- Release edited by
Mary Savage Thursday, August 14, 1997
Legal Settlement Clears Way For National Anti-rBGH Label
Past Refusals by the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago
had Created a National Ban on Labeling; Settlement Ends First Amendment
Lawsuit by Ben & Jerry's Homemade, The Organic Valley - Family of Farms,
Stonyfield Farm and Whole Foods Market
South Burlington, VT --Manufacturers of ice cream, yogurt
and other dairy products who use milk and cream produced without the controversial
growth hormone rBGH can now say so on their labels.
Under the terms of an unprecedented legal settlement announced today, the
State of Illinois has agreed to permit such voluntary labeling by natural
food companies opposed to rBGH. Since 1994 Illinois has forbidden Ben &
Jerry's, Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm from adding anti-rBGH labels
to their products
"The use of bio-engineered growth hormones in dairy cows is inconsistent
with everything we stand for. This settlement is a great victory for Ben
& Jerry's, for our family farmers, and most of all, for our customers"
said Perry Odak, the CEO of Ben and Jerry's Homemade Inc. who himself grew
up on a dairy farm.
The use of rBGH on dairy cows was approved by the Food and Drug Administration
in late 1993 and has been in use since 1994. When rBGH gets injected into
dairy cows, milk production increases by as much as 10-15%. The agency did
not require foods containing rBGH to be so labeled, as in the case for irradiated
foods, another controversial technology. Instead it allowed voluntary labeling.
rBGH Story: More Bad News for Monsanto
New York Times January 19, 1999
Synthetic Hormone in Milk Raises New Concerns
By SUSAN GILBERT
It was the confluence of two important events that made Carol Baxter
start buying organic milk about five and a half years ago. Her oldest daughter
had just turned 1 and soon would move from breast milk to cow's milk. And
American dairy farmers had just received approval to inject their cows with
recombinant bovine growth hormone, a genetically engineered hormone that
increases milk production.
Ms. Baxter, who lives in Palisades, N.Y., knew of environmental groups'
claims that treated cows got more infections and needed more antibiotics,
which could then enter their milk. And she learned that some scientists
had raised the possibility of an increased cancer risk in people who drank
the milk. "Milk is such an important part of a child's diet,"
she said. "I didn't want my child to be a guinea pig."
The Food and Drug Administration has long dismissed such concerns.
In the journal Science in 1990, two agency scientists concluded that "no
toxicologically significant changes" were seen in rats that ingested
the hormone. The agency's approval of the hormone in 1993 rested on the
strength of that 90-day rat study, which was commissioned by Monsanto, the