Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, and health, agriculture, animal protection and environmental groups nationwide have asked Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to veto a bill that would require a disclaimer on dairy products made by cows not treated with artificial growth hormones.
“We feel that HB 2121 puts unnecessary obstacles in the way of consumers getting the information they want, restricts free speech rights of dairies and processors, and interferes with the smooth functioning of free markets,” said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist for Consumers Union.
The legislation, approved last week, would require products that state they were not produced from cows treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rbGH, to have a disclaimer label.
The disclaimer must say: “The Food and Drug Administration has determined there are no significant differences between milk from cows that receive injections of the artificial hormone and milk from those that do not.”
Supporters of the bill say it is unfair for companies to imply there is a positive health effect from milk produced by cows not treated with artificial hormones.
But Heather Whitehead, True Food Network director at the Center for Food Safety, said the proposed legislation could deny Kansans the opportunity to make informed decisions about what they purchase.
“Kansas is taking a step in the wrong direction, as more than half of the 100 largest dairy processors in the country have gone partially or completely rbGH-free to satisfy consumer demand,” she said.