The Los Angeles Times, on August 5, 2007, reported that the Kroger Co., one of the nation's largest retail grocery chains is eliminating Monsanto's synthetic bovine growth hormone, rBST from its milk. The Times calls it "A Blow To Monsanto".
rBST was one of the first applications of genetic engineering to make its way into food production.
Starbucks Coffee Co. has also rejected the controversial hormone, approved by the FDA, in 1993.
In 2006, a Department of Agriculture survey found that one-third of the nation's dairy cows were being injected with the hormone. At its peak, the estimate of rBST sales was $250 million out of Monsanto's total sales of $7.2 billion.
Monsanto, based in St. Louis, markets rBST, or recombinant bovine somatotropin, under the brand name Posilac. The Food and Drug Administration and the company contend that the hormone is safe.
Kroger, based in Cincinnati, said consumer preference, not safety concerns, prompted its decision.
Consumer activist Robert Cohen, http://www.notmilk.com/ has been fighting rBST for many years.
In 1996, journalists Jane Akre and Steve Wilson were fired by the Fox News television station, in Clearwater, Florida, after refusing to change their investigative report on Posilac. Research documents proved potential health and safety problems of drinking milk treated with the synthetic hormone.
Threatened with legal action from Monsanto, Fox wanted the negative effects played down. Akre and Wilson refused, sued and won a settlement of $425,000. An appellate court eventually threw out the "whistle blower" lawsuit, deciding that the media is allowed to lie.
Here is the story in Steve and Jane's own words.
The LA Times reports Monsanto has already been reducing inventory of its milk production-boosting hormone.
Carol Guilford is an LA-based writer and author of "The New Cook's Cookbook", "The Easiest Cookbook", "Carol Guilford's Main Course Cookbook" and "THE Diet Book."