FTC OK's rBGH-free Milk Ads
WASHINGTON - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has refused to take action against dairy companies that advertise their milk products as “free of genetically engineered hormones.” Federal regulators said that ads they reviewed made no misleading claims about recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which is injected into cows to boost milk production.
Monsanto Co. had asked the FTC to investigate more than half a dozen companies that advertise their products as “rBGH free.” The St. Louis-based agri-business giant markets the hormone under the brand name Posilac. Monsanto’s request was based on its assertion that the ads mislead the public into thinking that milk from rBGH-free cows is safer and/or healthier than comparable products from cows that have been treated with the hormone.
Due primarily to concerns that it leaves cows more prone to illness, the GE hormone has been banned in Europe and Canada. Although it is still FDA-approved in the US, many dairy farmers refuse to use it because of possible safety risks. A growing number of retailers, including the Safeway and Kroger grocery chains, have switched to rGBH-free milk. The national milk brand Borden advertises that it works “exclusively” with rBGH-free suppliers, and asks its customers, “So, who do you trust when it comes to your family’s milk?”
Spokesman Charles Margulis of the non-profit Center for Food Safety says that “Monsanto is getting desperate” because “more and more companies are rejecting this drug and letting consumers know it.”
Source: Associated Press