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got bgh?»

In November 1978, former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White shot and killed Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. In his defense he blamed stress and eating twinkies as factors that drove him temporarily insane.

Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) is a genetically engineered hormone that causes cows to produce up to 25% more milk. Although there have been no long-term tests of the hormone's health effects on humans, some preliminary studies link BGH with increased risks of breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes and hypertension. BGH treated cows are more susceptible to "mad cow disease", udder infections and birthing deformed calves. Milk and other products from BGH treated cows may contain less protein and higher levels of saturated fat as well as pus, bacteria and antibiotics. Even though the FDA has acknowledged some of these dangers, they maintain approval of BGH's use in beef and dairy products and have refused to require labeling of products derived from use of BGH.


Got Links?

  1. Get Informed-Take Action
  2. Propaganda - Technical Info
  3. Positive Directions
  4. Milk: even without BGH...
  5. What's the Mad cow connection?
  6. Friends of Got BGH?

1) Get Informed-Take Action

  • Pennsylvania won't allow labeling for "BGF-free" milk
  • Organic Consumers Association: A great place to start
  • Ben and Jerry's used to have an excellent anti-bgh site, now just a brief notice
  • Here and Now has a 4 part radio series about BGH and organic milk. Includes a taste test! part 3 focuses on dangers of BGH.
  • Get the general idea: what is The Meatrix?
  • ShirleysWellnessCafe.com has some great links about BHG and other issues.
  • The BGH Bulletin started with a focus on how Monsanto led Fox TV to fire two reporters. It is associated with a great new documentary called DocBack. View the Trailer on their Home page.
  • The Corporation is a very informative movie about the history of corporations and how they exploit thier legal status as "people". It features a segment about monsanto and BGH with the Fox reporters who got fired.


2) Propaganda - Technical Info
  • Look at the boring site of the local (SF Bay area) company that invented BGH: Genentech
  • Read hypocritical crap like this from the company that manufactures BGH: Monsanto
    "Sustainability - the idea that the resources and people of this world are finite. That for any business decision we make, we must consider the effect it will have on us and our children. That the products we make must not use up all of a natural resource, or even worse, contaminate what is left behind."

    This quote was on their slick site last year. There's other such disinformation there now - note that Monsanto is the company that brought you saccharin, astroturf and the 1957 "all-plastic Monsanto House of the Future" in Disneyland.

    More about Monsanto from FoodFirst.

  • Hear npr's All Things Considered criticize monsanto
    (Tuesday, March 16, 1999)
    (real audio)
    MONSANTO - GENETIC ENGINEERING In recent years, one company - Saint Louis-based Monsanto - has led the way toward a genetic engineering to produce food. The company's executives say new genetically engineered crops could help feed the world and preserve the environment. But as NPR's Dan Charles reports, instead of being celebrated, in many parts of the world, Monsanto and its technology are reviled. (12:00) (there is also a part 2 but it's not working now.) (real audio)
  • Here's a good resource for other Biotech info: the Biotechnology Information Center at the National Agricultural Library of the US Department of Agriculture. Make sure to visit their bST page for news releases, reports by government agencies, and full-text patents. You'll find juicy bits like this buried there:
    "BST potentially could be supplanted by the development of transgenic cattle. Dairy cows can be developed to produce higher levels of bST so that daily injections or timed release formulations are no longer needed."

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3) Positive Directions top


4) Milk: even without BGH...

I've gotten alot of mail from folks who insist milk is perfectly healthy, with or without the use of BGH. I still drink organic milk and other dairy products but find interesting arguments for limiting milk consumption or avoiding it altogether.

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5) What's the Mad cow connection?

I'm wondering now if the cows who came down with Mad Cow disease were fed Mad-cow-infected meat as a protein supplement to counteract the demands bgh made on their bodies. Were they given bgh? I don't know yet. Here's a starting point for more research.

  • Ex-cattle rancher Howard Lyman got sued (and won) after telling Oprah the truth about the Texas cattle industry
  • Mad Cows and Englishmen: What "The Townsend Letter of Doctors & Patients" has to say about this beastly hysteria. (also appeared in "The Economist" in mid-90s)
  • What Makes a Cow So Mad: "Scientific American" tones down the jargon so even a Non-Scientific American can understand this disease (also from mid 90s)
  • Let Them Eat Veggies: The Vegetarian Society U.K. makes mincemeat of the British government for their handling of this crisis
  • The Official Mad Cow Disease Home Page
  • mad cow issues addressed from a kosher perspective
  • Great overview of other animal rights and kosher issues
  • New theories on the mysterious origins of mad cow disease in India

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6) Friends of Got BGH?

Thanks to Andy H. for this gem:

Verbatim from an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel:
"California's milk processors scored a national hit with their irreverent "Got Milk?" ads. The TV spots, by a San Francisco ad company, seemed to appeal to every major demographic group except one: Hispanics whose dominant language is Spanish.
The California Milk Processor Board decided to target the group, which makes up a third of the state's population, with separate ads in Spanish. According to the Wall Street Journal, the board's Hispanic ad agency in Los Angeles found by testing a mainly Mexican-American focus group that the "Got milk?" punch line translated roughly to "Are you lactating? The focus group also couldn't understand the idea of a milk craving, for example, driving a priest to vandalize a vending machine. In Hispanic households, running out of milk isn't funny, and translates to failing your family... "

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last major update: Janurary, 2003 and 2007

last minor update: 2012

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