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February 14, 2008

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expatchef

This is the letter that Center for Food Safety prepared when this issue came up in Ohio:

"I am writing to voice my opposition to apparent recent moves by the Ohio Department of Agriculture to restrict dairy producers from labeling milk as produced without recombinant bovine growth hormone. Many consumers object to this hormone, known as rBGH or rBST. I have a right to know if this artificial hormone was used in the production of the dairy products I buy, and I believe dairy companies should be able to inform customers of this fact.

The use of rBGH is concerning because it causes infections and other problems in cows. These infections lead to the use of more antibiotics, which could contribute to the major problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria. There are also many unresolved questions concerning the use of this artificial hormone and links to some types of cancers, particularly breast, prostate, and lung.

FDA approved the use of voluntary labels more than 12 years ago at the request of dairy companies seeking to respond to customer concerns over the use of the genetically engineered hormone. Earlier this year Monsanto, the company that makes rBGH under the trade name Posilac, pressured the FDA to restrict the use of labels identifying "rBGH-free" or "rBST-free" dairy products, but FDA rightly refused to do so. Ohio should be no different. Consumers want more information about the foods we buy and feed to our families - not less. rBGH-free labels are not "misleading," they fill an important gap in knowledge about how our dairy products are produced. In fact, an April 2007 Lake Research Partners' national survey shows that eight in ten adults (80%) feel dairy products originating from cows that have not been treated with rBGH should be allowed to be labeled as such.

I urge you to recognize the importance of food labels to consumers and producers, and not to restrict the use of rBGH-free labeling. Denying consumers information about how milk was produced leaves consumers without the information they need to make informed choices."

Jill

This is horrible, the European Union bans the use of this hormone completely along with Cananda, our federal government provides the opportunity for the use of it in our products but allows for labeling and now Monsanto is trying to take away our rights one state at a time?
Also, no one talks about the impact of this artificial hormone on the animals themselves. It causes them stress and leads to shorter lives. That is something that can be proven.....

Everyone needs to contact the following Senators in Johnson County and all Senators on the Agriculture Committee as well as Senate Leadership immediatly; this bill must not make it out of committee.......for the sake of all of our families.

towens10@kc.rr.com, jvratil@lathropegage.com, julia@senatorjulialynn.com, allen@senate.state.ks.us, lynn@senate.state.ks.us, vratil@senate.state.ks.us, owens@senate.state.ks.us, jordan@senate.state.ks.us, jordanforcongress@nickjordan.com, wilson@senate.state.ks.us

ExPat Chef

Thanks, Jill!

Kelsey

The Kansas Agriculture Committee has scheduled a hearing on the bill (595) for Tuesday morning at 8:30am in the Capital Room 423s. If anyone wants to testify, the best thing to do is call the chairs secretary at 785-296-7371 to get on the list. If you cannot make it to the hearing you may want to contact those on the Ag committee to share your thoughts.

Laura

Just wondering what happened yesterday...has anyone heard? I really hope it didn't pass.

expatchef

Thanks, at this point both sides have finally had a say. Monday, they sent the opponents to the bill away without hearing any testimony. Only those in favor of the bill got to speak. Pretty lousy approach, especially for the folks who drove 100 miles one-way to speak. Things went well today, from what I hear, and there are more items in the press coming. I'll keep track of it!

Mona

This issue has also come up on the MO side, so the Missouri Rural Crisis Center has organized a Lobby Day at the State Capitol.

Here are the details:
Family Farm Lobby Day
March 31st, 2008
1:30-4PM
Missouri State Capitol-First Floor Rotunda

Join Family Farmers, Rural Citizens & Consumers in Support of Missouri’s Family Farms, Healthy Food and Rural Values!
Details available at http://www.slowfoodstl.org/2008/03/17/family-farm-lobby-day/

****Please let us know if you can attend by emailing us at timgibbons@morural.org, or call (573) 449-1336.****

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