Archive for Friday, April 3, 2009

Dairy label restrictions move ahead

April 3, 2009


— A bill placing new label restrictions on dairy products that tout being free of growth hormones was approved Thursday by the Senate over the opposition of state Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence.

Under the measure, producers who state their product is not from cows supplemented with rBST, which is recombinant bovine somatotropin, would have to document the claim and put on the product label a disclaimer that the federal government has determined that rBST makes no difference.

Large dairy producers say it is misleading to brag about being hormone-free because there is no evidence linking the hormones given to cows with any problems in milk or other dairy products. “I believe it levels the playing field for all dairy producers,” said state Sen. Mark Taddiken, R-Clifton.

But opponents say some people want to know whether hormones are used because they believe it could either adversely affect the quality of the milk or the health of the cow.

And Francisco said she feared that some companies may keep their products out of Kansas rather than comply with the expense of changing labels. She said she had received correspondence from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company that indicated it would cost more than $200,000 to change its labels for the proposed Kansas law.

The Senate approved the measure, 22-15. It now goes to the House where it is expected to pass.


kansastruthteller 9 years ago

The bill doesn't change a producer's ability to put information on the label regarding their non-use of rBST. It only requires that they also put the disclaimer on the label too.

Consumers will have all the information they had before. The only change will be that they will also see the disclaimer.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

"In cows treated with rBGH, significant health problems often develop, including a 50 percent increase in the risk of lameness (leg and hoof problems), over a 25 percent increase in the frequency of udder infections (mastitis), and serious animal reproductive problems, i.e., infertility, cystic ovaries, fetal loss and birth defects.

Because rBGH use results in more cases of mastitis, dairy farmers tend to use more antibiotics to combat the infections, the residues of which also may end up in milk and dairy products. These residues can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals and contribute to the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria, further undermining the efficacy of some antibiotics in fighting human infections.

Furthermore, recent research has shown conclusively that the levels of a hormone called "insulin-like growth factor-1" (IFG-1) are elevated in dairy products produced from cows treated with rBGH. Canadian and European regulators have found that the FDA completely failed to consider a study that showed how the increased IGF-1 in rBGH milk could survive digestion and make its way into the intestines and blood stream of consumers. These findings are significant because numerous studies now demonstrate that IGF-1 is an important factor in the growth of cancers of the breast, prostate and colon."

storm 9 years ago

With 75% percent of the earth's population lactose intolerant, this doesn't matter one way or another. Eat spinach for calcium.

kansastruthteller 9 years ago

The facts would greatly help this discussion. The bill does not apply to USDA certified organic products so none of them are affected by the bill.

Terms like rBGH Free can still be used on the label by everyone, but those that are not USDA certified organic have to have the fda disclaimer.

Don't want milk from cows supplemented with rBGH then read the label. The information will still be there. The only difference is the disclaimer will be there too.

BTW, the Ohio courts upheld a more stringent rule than this bill already I doubt that there is any Constitutional issues with it.

make_a_difference 9 years ago

After reading an article about the hormones in dairy milk having an effect on increasing the severity of acne, I switched our milk to a hormone-free source. What I read just made sense if one thought about it logically. I was amazed at the difference it made for my daughter...there was a huge, A HUGE, difference. Yes, the hormone-free milk cost more (tasted better too!), but I figured it was much cheaper than a addition to not having to use the assorted drugs/chemicals related to acne treatment.

"Large dairy producers say it is misleading to brag about being hormone-free because there is no evidence linking the hormones given to cows with any problems in milk & other dairy products. "I believe it levels the playing field for all dairy producers", said state Sen. Mark Taddiken, R-Clifton."

Large dairy producers feel threatened by the smaller producers who are providing hormone-free milk. Hormone-free milk is a product that is near impossible for the large producer to provide without affecting their milk output considerably...therefore reducing their profit. The well informed public is choosing the product that is free of chemicals more & more. Large dairy producers, knowing how small the profit margin is, are attempting to use their influence with our government officials to create obstacles for their competitors. Rather than using their time & efforts to provide the better product for the public, they choose to turn their efforts in a negative direction.

Level playing field, my @&#. This has nothing to do with a level playing field!

Frank Smith 9 years ago

Thanks to Senator Francisco for opposing the establishment of a Ministry of Propaganda.

One hopes that there's a veto in the cards.

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