Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Ads for rBST-free Milk OK Says FTC

Back in April, I posted an angry piece titled Another Victory for Ignorance, complaining about the bad information and just plain disinformation casually thrown out concerning the synthetic growth hormone rBST.

But as ever, you have to watch both sides of an argument to make sure they're getting it right.

A syndicated Associated Press article by Sam Hammell reported that the maker of rBST, Monsanto, asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the ads of companies that marketed milk free of rBST because their ads implied that this milk was healthier.

The Borden company, for example, put out an ad that said:

[W]e work exclusively with farmers that supply 100 percent of our milk from cows that haven't been treated with artificial hormones. So, who do you trust when it comes to your family's milk?

That's very close to the line, in my opinion. However, the FTC declined to launch a formal investigation or take any direct action against Borden's.
But FTC associate director Mary Engle said a few small businesses were warned about making unfounded claims about rBST on their Web sites and told to revise those claims. ...

Under FDA [Food and Drug Administration] policy, food companies are allowed to make claims on labels that they do not use rBST, as long they do not "mislead consumers" to believe milk from cows without rBST is safer or of higher quality. [Labeling and ads are regulated by two different government agencies, in other words.]

However, the market is speaking. Kroger, one of the nation's largest supermarket chains, announced earlier this month that it will switch over to all rBST-free milk in its stores. It'll be a long process not complete until February 2008. They're doing it for "consumer preference" not because of "safety concerns." Of course, they would probably say that anyway. It's a cynical world.

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