Growth Hormone in Milk

July 8, 2008 at 2:07 pm 1 comment

From Scientific American’s Can Bovine Growth Hormone Help Slow Global Warming?:

There is currently a debate raging over the safety of bovine growth hormone. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 ruled that it was not harmful and could be injected into cows to improve their milk production. But some studies have linked it with a risk of mastitis (udder infection) in cows, requiring the use of antibiotics that may in turn be contributing to the evolving resistance of bacteria to the drugs.

Bovine growth hormone is also known to stimulate the production of insulinlike growth factor 1 (IGF1) by the liver; some studies have shown that high levels of IGF1 in the bloodstream may heighten the risk of prostate and breast cancers as well as a woman’s chance of conceiving twins. As a result of consumer concerns, farmers in Australia, Canada, the European Union and New Zealand do not inject their cows with bovine growth hormone.

Back in high school (That was the 90’s. Geez, I feel so old), I read that high milk consumption had been linked to development of breast cancer. So it seems that growth hormone could be the culprit to blame. If the farmers can really sustain the same amount of milk production and keep the greenhouse gas emission in check without depending on injecting the cows with GH, everyone will be happy. And then I can keep drinking milk with an eased mind. I really don’t want to think about what to eat for breakfast. I’m happy with the bowl of cereal every morning. 😉

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1 Comment Add your own

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