Monsanto Co., the producer of Posilac-brand recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), has filed a complaint to the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission asking these federal authorities to crack down on dairies that make “deceptive” claims that the use of Posilac bovine growth hormone leads to unhealthy milk. According to federal agency guidelines, claims must be truthful and backed up by evidence; they cannot be misle
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Monsanto provided to regulators several examples of labels and ads it finds objectionable. They run the gamut from a claim by California’s Alta Dena Dairy that no rBST “means better health and happier cows,” to a label used by Louisiana’s Kleinpeter Dairy that links the synthetic hormone’s use to premature puberty in children. Neither dairy returned calls seeking comment.
Monsanto late last year began asking dairy producers and others to sign off on letters objecting to misleading labels, he said. The company compiled more than 500 of these letters and in February sent them, along with missives from Monsanto’s associate general counsel, Brian Lowry, to the. Monsanto on Tuesday announced those actions.
“Although milk processors and retailers certainly have the right to inform consumers about the use or non-use of rBST,” labels that falsely claim health and safety risks associated with milk from rBST-supplemented cows are misleading, Monsanto said in its letter to the FTC. This practice “has created an artificial demand and higher consumer prices” for milk produced without Posilac.