Victory for Milk
Remember when when several states tried to ban recombinant bovine growth hormone-free (rBGH-free) claims on dairy? Monsanto, who owned rBGH at the time, helped found a group of rBGH-loving dairy farmers called AFACT. AFACT pushed to ban any label claims informing consumers about milk from cows that had not been treated with rBGH.
Naturally, that sparked tons of consumer outrage, and ultimately AFACT was unsuccessful in most states where they tried this.
Ohio was the last state where it looked like a label ban might win.
In (IDFA et al v. Boggs, U.S. Court of Appeals), decided September 30, 2010, a Federal Appeals Court overturned an Ohio state ban on label statements such as "rbGH free," "rbST free," and "artificial hormone free" on milk from cows that have not been treated with recombinant (GMO) bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a.k.a. bovine somatotropin (rbST).
In striking down the rule, the Court relied on evidence presented by Center for Food Safety and other friends of the court finding that “…contrary to the district court’s assertion, a compositional difference does exist between milk from untreated cows and conventional milk… As detailed by the amici parties seeking to strike down the Rule…”
Further: “the use of 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.” The Court also found that rbST “induces an unnatural period of milk production” resulting in milk “considered to be low quality,” and milk from treated cows spoils more quickly, another indicator of poor milk quality.
“As we have continuously maintained, consumers are not misled by labels on food products but instead have seen these labels for years and are comfortable with them,” said Paige Tomaselli, Staff Attorney with the Center for Food Safety, which filed an amicus brief in the case. “The Court confirmed the right of consumers to use these labels to make informed purchasing decisions for themselves and their families.”
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