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Thursday, January 24, 2008

House bill would forbid "hormone free" label

H.B. 1300, a bill introduced in the Indiana House of Representatives, would forbid the use of the phrase "hormone free" on containers of milk produced by cows that were not treated with the bovine growth hormone recombinant bovine somatotropin, commonly known as BST.

BST is administered by injection to dairy cows to increase milk production. Its use is banned in virtually every country in the world with the exception of the United States. Allegations of negative health effects on humans are contested and the hormone is considered safe by the FDA, but the product has been shown to cause a substantial increase of certain health problems in cows.

The rationale in banning labeling that states no growth hormones were used in the production of milk is that such "absence labeling" discriminates against farmers who do use BST. The committee considering the bill voted unanimously to approve it and eliminate labeling, but opposition is expected when the bill reaches the Senate.

A similar bill was passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in 2007, but the label ban was strongly opposed by several consumer groups and the state relented and reversed the ban before it could take effect. Several retailers and restaurants, including Trader Joes's, Kroger and Chipotle Grill, have stopped selling or using milk products made using artificial growth hormones.
J. Silverheels Gray, 12:05 PM


Ahhh, the massive Ag-Corp lobby at it again. Pathetic. I cannot imagine much of anything less American than legislating that the producers of a product cannot put an honest and verifiable claim on their packaging label.

It is perfectly legal for Trader Joes to correctly claim that they only sell hormone-free dairy products. How can it be illegal for the producers themselves to put it on the label?
Blogger Justin S., at 9:29 PM  

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