From Pine View Farm

Hormones 0

Up the road a piece, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture decided to forbid dairies to label milk produced by cows who have not been feed synthetic bovine growth hormone (BGH) as “hormone free.” (That’s the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture as in the “Reg. Penna. Agr.” that appears on so many labels).

They claimed that the label confused consumers.

Well, apparently, consumers don’t think that knowing that cows have been fed synthetic BGH (which, by the way, has been banned in Europe because of posing a risk to the health of cows) is all that confusing:

Pennsylvania agriculture officials backed down today from a controversial ban on milk labels that identify the milk as coming from cows not treated with synthetic growth hormone.

The ban was to take effect Feb. 1, to the dismay of consumer activists and many smaller dairies who choose not to inject their cows with hormones. But the move was superseded by new standards issued today, after a review by the office of Gov. Rendell.

Now, I don’t have a position on BGH per se. I grew up on a farm and therefore I grew up with chemicals. There are good chemicals and bad chemicals, and I don’t know about this chemical.

Nevertheless, I find it suspicious when the guv’mint doesn’t want us to know about a particular chemical, because, in the words of one of the members of the panel that recommended removing the warning from the label, the chemical “means more income for the producers” (that is, more milk per cow).

I heard him say that in an interview on Radio Times. I urge you to listen to it. The guy from Penn State and the guy from Consumers Union were at each other’s throats so much that the host had to remind them that “It’s my show” (smackdown).

From the website:

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recently ruled that dairies that do not inject their cattle with synthetic growth hormone can no longer label their milk as hormone-free. The decision, which has been put on hold until the beginning of February, raises serious questions for consumers, dairy farmers, and retailers. We talk to TERRY ETHERTON of Penn State University and MICHAEL HANSEN of Consumer’s Union.

The show is worth a listen, if only to hear the host rein in the guests. But it’s also worth a listen to help understand how more and more food is being turned synthetic.

Go to the website and search for 1/16/2008 or listen here.

In other news in the same vein, the same show had a very interesting interview about nutrition and “nutritionism.” (Go to the website and search for 01/10/2008) or listen here. This one is worth it.

Yeah, I know, I’ve said that before. But, if you’ve followed the links, you know that, whether you agree or disagree with what’s on the show, shows I recommend are worth it.

In his new book, ”In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, author MICHAEL POLLAN argues that “instead of eating food, we’re consuming ‘edible foodlike substances,’ (such as Cheez Whiz–ed.) no longer the products of nature but of food science.” His advice for a healthy diet can be summed up in seven words — Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

And if you have a podcatcher, make Radio Times a regular on it.


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