Not even Monsanto wants rBGH
2.Not Even Monsanto Wants rBGH - Food & Water Watch
3.MONSANTO TO DIVEST rBGH! - Rick North, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
1.Consumers force Monsanto to drop genetically engineered hormone for milk
VANCOUVER, Aug. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Global pressure has forced Monsanto to announce that it is getting out of producing the bovine growth hormone rBST, a genetically engineered (GE) product to increase milk production in dairy cows.
Monsanto's decision to get out of the rBST business in the US comes after global consumer and market rejection of rBST. Safeway, Starbucks and Kraft recently announced they are removing milk produced using rBST from their stores or products in the US. Milk and cheese made with rBST have been banned in Canada and Europe for the past decade. This Monsanto decision will reduce imports of processed foods with rBST modified milk ingredients, including ice
cream and infant formula, that Canadians now consume.
"This is a big victory for American and Canadian consumers," said Josh Brandon, agriculture campaigner with Greenpeace. "The massive and sustained rejection of rBST milk highlights even further the need for Canada to require labelling of all genetically engineered foods."
This is a second rBST setback for Monsanto this year. The company failed in its attempt to stem consumer rejection, losing bids in several US states to prevent dairies from labelling their products as rBST free.
In Canada, rBST was banned in 1998 after scientists at Health Canada publicly raised health and safety concerns about the product. Some of the health concerns of rBST include: toxic effects on cows such as mastitis, increased contamination in milk by pus and antibiotics, and increased levels of a cancer-causing agent IGF-1. The United States approved rBST in 1993.
"If genetically engineered products like this were safe, Monsanto would put 'made with GE' in big block letters on all its products," said Brandon.
"Instead Monsanto is doing everything it can to obstruct the consumer's right to know what they are eating. Monsanto's strategy backfires, once consumers start asking questions about the health and environmental safety of GE products."
For further information: Brian Blomme, Media and Public Relations Officer, (416) 930-9055; Josh Brandon, Agriculture Campaigner, (604) 721-7493
2.Not Even Monsanto Wants rBGH
Consumer Pressure Cripples Artificial Growth Hormone Used in Milk Production
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Food & Water Watch, August 7 2008
WASHINGTON - August 7 - Monsanto's announcement that it is "repositioning" Posilac, its artificial growth hormone used in milk production and more commonly known as rBGH, is good news for consumers but not the end of the struggle for food safety advocates, warned the national consumer rights organization Food & Water Watch today.
“News of Monsanto’s divestment of Posilac is one more sign that no-one wants the growth hormone rBGH used in milk production, not even the company that makes it,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “In the last year we’ve seen retailers including Walmart, Kroger, and Starbucks fall like dominoes in the race to meet consumer demand for artificial growth hormone-free milk. “
Food & Water Watch contends that the last several attempts by Monsanto to salvage rBGH’s profitability have been underhanded. Just last month, a widely publicized study came out with the claim that rBGH was good for the environment. Much coverage of the study failed to note that the lead researcher was in fact a Monsanto consultant and another researcher was the company’s technical manager for rBGH.
“RBGH is not used by small-eco-friendly farms. The artificial hormone has contributed to the growth of mega-dairy operations that cram together thousands of cows generating mountains of waste that are toxic to us and to our environment,” explained Hauter.
At the same time Monsanto tried to fix the image of rBGH, the company has been trying to limit consumer information on the artificial hormone. Faced with consistent resistance in the marketplace and a failed attempt to get the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to restrict “rBGH-free” labels even more, through the group AFACT, Monsanto started going to state governments to limit “artificial hormone-free” labels.
“Monsanto has been urging state agriculture departments and Governors to deny consumers the right to whether or not rBGH was used on their milk and that threat is very real no matter who is manufacturing the hormone,” continued Hauter.
In Ohio, the consumer opposition to limiting labels was simply ignored by the state agriculture department. Using a Freedom of Information Act request, Food & Water Watch obtained all official comments submitted to the agency. Of the handful of supporters of the rule, every single one of them was connected to the dairy industry, meaning they had a financial stake in the outcome of the rule.
“The bottom line is this is another victory for consumers against artificial hormones in milk,” concluded Hauter.
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer rights organization that challenges the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources. The fact sheet rBGH: Anything But Green can be found at http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/foodsafety/dairy/rbgh-not-green
CONTACT: Food & Water Watch
Patty Lovera or Erin Greenfield
3.MONSANTO TO DIVEST RBGH!
MONSANTO TO SELL rBGH DIVISION!
Everyone - In a surprise statement, Monsanto announced today that it plans to divest rBGH (Posilac®), selling the division to another company.
Monsanto's spokeswoman, Christie Chavis, said in a conference call that the reason they're divesting rBGH is to concentrate on their core priorities of seeds and traits in soybeans, corn, vegetables and cotton. She said there was no timeline for the sale and that the names of prospective buyers, if any, were confidential. She also said their sales figures were up over last year, in both domestic and overseas markets, but refused to say what their sales were.
One reporter said that it defied logic that their sales were up when so many large companies like Starbucks, Kroger and Wal-Mart had moved away from rBGH. Chavis' response was that fluid milk is only 25% of the market (we believe it's closer to 30-35%), while cheese is 50%, and most of the rejection of rBGH is fluid milk. When another reporter brought up Kraft going rBGH-free for their 2% cheese, she replied that their rBGH-free cheese is only one of their many product lines.
She never mentioned that Glanbia, a major cheese producer in Idaho and New Mexico, announced it's going rBGH-free in 2009.
I managed to get on Monsanto's conference call and brought up the recent American Medical Association president's statement and the American Nurses Association resolution opposing rBGH. Of course, she responded that this had nothing to do with their decision. I also brought up the Oct. 2007 USDA figure that only 17% of cows were estimated on rBGH and that it's lower now because so many companies have gone rBGH-free since then. I asked about the discrepancy between these figures and Monsanto's typical "one-third of all herds" statement, and her response was that she didn't know how USDA arrived at those figures. (Note: This may be the last time I'm ever on a Monsanto conference call.)
She said they would continue to produce rBGH until they found a buyer. She said rBGH was "a very attractive product."
Attractive? I guess we'll just have to redouble our efforts to make sure rBGH doesn't win any GMO beauty contests.
Is this the end of rBGH? No, as long as it's on the market, the human and animal health dangers remain, whoever owns it.
But it looks like a major victory and a strong indication that Monsanto is finding this embattled hormone more trouble than it's worth.
ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SUPPORTED OUR EFFORTS SHARE IN THIS MILESTONE. NOW LET'S KEEP UP OUR INCREDIBLE GRASS ROOTS EFFORT AND FINISH THE JOB.
Rick North, Project Director Campaign For Safe Food
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility