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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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, July 19, 2008

Non-BST Milk Same as Any Other Milk

Last year, I posted Another Victory for Ignorance, which started:

Is there any actual evidence that the growth hormone rBST (recombinant Bovine SomatoTropin -- also known as rBGH: recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) causes harm to anyone? No.

Can milk be made that is hormone free? No. All milk, including mother's milk, has natural hormones. All cow's milk naturally includes BST. (rBST is a synthetic hormone that is added to increase milk production.)

I tried to break the creepy spell that fear - aided and abetted by the anti-milk forces - has put on America.

More evidence has emerged for the anti-fear, anti-ignorance forces. It comes from science, of course, which itself is a target of the fearmongers, but which is also our only real avenue for improving our understanding of our world.

Ruth Kava, Ph.D., R.D., Director of Nutrition at the American Council on Science and Health (,, wrote Milk Is Milk Is Milk on the site.
In the July 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetics Association (Vol. 108, p. 1198), Dr. J. Vicini and colleagues from Monsanto and the Pennsylvania State University present the results of analyses they performed on conventional milk, organic milk (which by definition may not come from rBST-treated cows), and non-organic milk labeled as coming from cows "not treated with rBST."

The researchers analyzed samples of each type of milk (all were pasteurized) purchased from stores in the forty-eight contiguous United States. In brief, they found that none of the milks contained antibiotic residue and that there were slightly fewer bacteria in the conventional milk than in either of the other two types (the difference was not great enough to have an impact on human health).

All three types had similar levels of BST, and the conventional and "rBST-free" milk had higher levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) than the organic milk --but again the differences were so small as to make no practical difference to humans consuming the milk. Indeed, as the authors pointed out, IGF is a protein that would be broken down in the course of digestion by humans and therefore could not affect humans' metabolism. Further, the differences they observed would be only 0.003% of the amount of IGF produced by humans each day.

In the real world, the differences between "organic" milk and regular milk are too slight to be noticed by the body. They're not too slight to be noticed by your pocketbooks, though. Organic milk is usually far more expensive than regular milk.

"All milk is wholesome," the study authors say. Of course it is.

Beware the propagandists. They're not looking out for your interests, but their own.

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