Let’s face it. It’s expensive to eat these days. And a gallon of milk? Forget about it. If you make minimum wage then one hour of your time will allow you to buy one gallon of organic milk for your babies.
And that’s just the actual cost, in dollars, of a gallon of milk.
What most people don’t realize is that when you buy a “regular” gallon of milk (non-organic), they’re getting a carton full of milk with hormones, antibiotics, and cow utter pus (yes, you read that correctly).
We first introduced you to Robyn O’Brien’s book, “The Unhealthy Truth”, in our post titled “Is Our Food Making Us Sick? The “Unhealthy Truth” About the U.S. Food Industry”. I recently read the Chapter called “Milk Money” and wanted to recap Robyn’s research.
Monsanto, a large agrichemical company, pioneered aspartame, genetically modified soy, DDT, and a hormone called rBST/rBGH (trademarked under the name of ‘Posilac’). You may recognize the artificial hormone name rBST/rBGH. In fact, if you do you’ve probably gone through great lengths to try to find dairy products that don’t contain the hormone.
But what is the rBST/rBGH hormone?
The hormone is made in a lab and, as Robyn explains, is “designed to mimic a hormone that’s naturally produced in a cow’s pituitary glands. It’s injected into cows every two weeks to boost their hormonal activity, causing them to produce an additional 10 to 15 percent more milk, or about one extra gallon each day.”
Sounds good, right? Why NOT give the cow an artificial hormone to produce more milk?
Well, apparently the hormone has some adverse effects on cows, including “increases in cystic ovaries and disorders of the uterus,” “decreases in gestation length and birth-weight of calves,” and “increased risk of clinical mastitis.” Mastitis in cows is extremely painful (as in human mastitis) and causes cows’ utters to pump out bacteria and pus along with milk. In order to treat the mastitis, dairy farmers have to give the cows antibiotics and other medicines, that, you guessed it – end up in our milk supply. On top of that, the hormone causes “increased numbers of lacerations on the cows’ hocks (shins), and digestive disorders, including diarrhea. And, a cows’ life expectancy is only two years after they start receiving the drug (versus cows not on the hormone “live four to ten years”).
Robyn’s words captured my own thoughts and actions:
“When I first read this, I had to stop and walk away from the computer for a few minutes. How many bottles and sippy cups had I filled with milk? Why hadn’t I known about rBGH when I was pouring countless bowls of cereal for my children? I shuddered at the thought that along with the milk, I had also been giving them doses of growth hormone and antibiotics, not to mention potentially exposing them to cow bacteria and udder pus.”
I’m no medical expert or scientist, but this got me thinking – maybe there’s a connection between our country’s dairy products and the fact that girls are developing earlier than ever these days? And what about our life expectancy? Could this hormone decrease our life expectancy?
Robyn goes on to discuss rBGH’s effects on our (human) health:
“As early as 1998, an article in The Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, reported that women with even relatively small increases of a hormone known as insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) were up to seven times more likely to develop premenopausal breast cancer.
And guess what? According to a January 1996 report in the International Journal of Health Services, rBGH milk has up to ten times the IGF-1 levels of natural milk. More recent studies have put the figure even higher, at something like twentyfold.
Now stop and think about that for a minute. Breast cancer used to be something that women got later in life. Premenopausal breast cancer was so rare that when young women presented their physicians with breast cancer symptoms, the doctors often failed to diagnose it, simply because it was so unlikely that an ‘older women’s disease’ would be found among young women.
But according to the Young Survival Coalition, one in 229 women between the ages of thirty and thirty-nine will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the next ten years. Why are all these young women now getting breast cancer? And what about the effects of IGF-1-laden milk on older women, who are already at greater risk for breast cancer?
In case you think that the rising cancer rates have something to do with genetics, stop and think again. According to the Breast Cancer Fund, one in eight women now has breast cancer. But only 10 percent of those cases can be linked to genetics. In other words, 90 percent of breast cancers being diagnosed today are being triggered by factors in the environment. Doesn’t it seem logical that there might be a connection between a breast cancer-causing hormone introduced into our milk in 1994 and the increasing rates of breast cancer?
IGF-1 has also been implicated in prostate and colon cancer. An article in the Washington Independent quotes Kaiser Permanente internist Dr. Jenny Pompilio as saying that even ‘subtle amounts’ of IGF-1 can increase the risk of cancer.”
Many other countries have banned this genetically altered hormone, so why hasn’t the United States? According to Robyn, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have banned the use of this hormone.
Lastly, the chapter describes the political and corporate implications of ‘tainted milk.’ If this information gets your juices flowing and upsets you, please leave us a Comment. If I get enough Comments, I’ll write a follow-up article on the political and corporate puppet strings that are being maneuvered behind the scenes in order to keep the money and this artificial hormone flowing in our minimum-wage-costing gallon of milk.
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Are You What You Eat?
Is Our Food Making Us Sick? The “Unhealthy Truth” About the U.S. Food Industry
‘Secret FDA Memos’ Reveal Concerns About GMO Foods
Creating a Healthy Relationship with Food: Interview with Dr. Lisa Hill
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