Stores To Stop Selling Hormone Injected Cow Milk
03/06/2007 (KFSN) -- A change is coming to most of the milk on supermarket shelves. The California Dairies Company, which produces 43% of the milk distributed in California, will stop using the rBST hormone. It is currently injected into cows to help them produce more milk.
By August 1st, all Vons Supermarkets, including this one here in Visalia, will no longer sell milk from cows that have been injected with the synthetic hormone. The people who run California Dairies say the change is coming because people asked for it.
CEO of California Dairies, Richard Cotta, says, "The saying goes 'milk does a body good' but what consumers have been telling California dairies is that their bodies don't need extra hormones." Cotta adds, "I think it's in sync with the organic movement. There are people who want their food produced in certain manners and I think we're responding to that."
Dairy farmer Andy Rynsberger produces milk for California Dairies. He says 10% of his cows get the rBST hormone injected in them twice a month. He says, "It's a naturally occurring hormone in the cow, we just increase that level of hormone so it causes the cow to give more milk." Up to ten pounds more. The rBST hormone is man-made and costs about $12 a month per cow.
In the past few years, California Dairies has received more requests from customers to stop using the hormone.
Cotta says, "We've had more and more requests until now we're shipping milk from further north where we are now all the way to Los Angeles to meet those needs."
Grocery chains, such as Vons and Safeway, were requesting the change. They get all of their milk from California Dairies. Foster Farms, Knudsen Farms and Producers Dairy also package milk from California Dairies. And though consumers may be happy with the new more natural milk, California Dairies says there's no detectable difference between milk from cows that've been injected with the hormone and cows that haven't been injected.
Rynsberger says, "They think that there's something different in the milk and there's not. It's been totally tested and it's safe."
Still some consumer groups claim not enough research has been done into the effects on humans of products from rBST injected cows.
August 1st was chosen as the date to have all the milk free of the synthetic hormone to give dairy farmers enough time to cycle the hormone out of the cows systems.
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