Paying extra for hormone-free milk

February 7, 2008
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Grocery stores are rejecting milk from cows that have been injected with a growth hormone that stimulates milk production.

Kroger, Dean Foods and others are responding to consumers who are jittery about recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rbST, which has been used since 1993. Kroger is dropping the milk from its Indianapolis stores soon.

Late last month, Indiana state Rep. Bill Friend, R-Macy, pulled a bill that would have protected the industry by making it illegal to label dairy products as free of artificial growth hormone. He said at the time that it was too controversial and demanded more time for study.

Mainstream scientists insist so little of the hormone is present in milk that itâ??s all but impossible to detect. They also say that what little does end up in milk would be harmless to humans.

Harmful or not, Purdue University specialist Mike Schutz says the result is that the cost to produce milk without rbST will rise 5 to 8 percent. Those extra costs will find their way to consumers and will drive some small dairy farms out of business, he warns.

Are consumersâ?? fears rational, and is the peace of mind worth the extra price weâ??ll pay for milk?
  • It's absolutely worth the extra price. Has enough research been done to determine if there is such a thing as safe levels of rbST--or for that matter any of the other hormones, antibiotics and additives that end up in our food? Obviously not.
  • We need to do anything to help improve our health, and the health of our living children and the unborn children. I have refused to digest processed foods and most processed drinks. I just don't want something going into me that could have potentional problems for my health and future children's health.
  • The idea that large retailers will put small dairys out of business by dropping growth hormone-produced milk is pure Monsanto PR. Small dairys would have been more hurt by this bill which protects them *and* consumers. Monsanto manufactures the bovine growth hormone dairies use to increase milk production, so of course warns us that if the massive dairies quit using it, they won't produce as much and our prices will go up. With this bill, smaller dairies who do not use the production booster will be able to keep competing, offering better product which by law will still be allowed to be labled growth hormone free.

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...