Monsanto's Hormonal Milk Poses Serious Risks of Breast Cancer, Besides Other Cancers
Warns Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health
Sunday, June 21 4:00 PM ET (
CHICAGO, June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., Professor Environmental Medicine, University of Illinois School of Public Health and Chairman of Cancer Prevention Coalition:

As reported in a May 9 article in The Lancet, women with a relatively small increase in blood levels of the naturally occurring growth hormone Insulin-like Growth Factor I (IGF-1) are up to seven times more likely to develop premenopausal breast cancer than women with lower levels. Based on those results, the report concluded that the risks of elevated IGF-1 blood levels are among the leading known risk factors for breast cancer, and are exceeded only by a strong family history or unusual mammographic abnormalities. Apart from breast cancer, an accompanying editorial warned that elevated IGF-1 levels are also associated with greater than any known risk factors for other major cancers, particularly colon and prostate.

This latest evidence is not unexpected. Higher rates of breast, besides colon, cancer have been reported in patients with gigantism (acromegaly) who have high IGF-1 blood levels. Other studies have also shown that administration of IGF-1 to elderly female primates causes marked breast enlargement and proliferation of breast tissue, that IGF-1 is a potent stimulator of human breast cells in tissue culture, that it blocks the programmed self-destruction of breast cancer cells, and enhances their growth and invasiveness.

These various reports, however, appear surprisingly unaware of the fact that the entire U.S. population is now exposed to high levels of IGF-1 in dairy products. In February 1995, the Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of unlabelled milk from cows injected with Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, rBGH, to increase milk production. As detailed in a January 1996 report in the prestigious International Journal of Health Services, rBGH milk differs from natural milk chemically, nutritionally, pharmacologically and immunologically, besides being contaminated with pus and antibiotics resulting from mastitis induced by the biotech hormone. More critically, rBGH milk is supercharged with high levels of abnormally potent IGF-1, up 10 times the levels in natural milk and over 10 times more potent. IGF-1 resists pasteurization, digestion by stomach enzymes, and is well absorbed across the intestinal wall. Still unpublished 1987 Monsanto tests, disclosed by FDA in summary form in 1990, revealed that statistically significant growth stimulating effects were induced in organs of adult rats by feeding IGF-1 at low dose levels for only two weeks. Drinking rBGH milk would thus be expected to significantly increase IGF-1 blood levels and consequently to increase risks of developing breast cancer and promoting its invasiveness.

Faced with escalating rates of breast, besides colon, prostate and other avoidable cancers, FDA should withdraw its approval of rBGH milk, whose sale benefits only Monsanto while posing major public health risks for the entire U.S. population. A Congressional investigation of FDA's abdication of responsibility is well overdue.

Source: Cancer Prevention Coalition

Contact: Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago, and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, 312-996-2297

A Monsanto official told the New York Times, October 25, 1998, that the corporation should not have to take responsibility for the safety of its food products. "Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food," said Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications. "Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job."

For further information on Monsanto, visit the following:

I personally believe that Monsanto poses an extreme threat to the health and viability of life on Planet Earth. Many years ago, I urged a boycott of its products. I would today reiterate my concerns and offer some alternatives that are safer and more conscious.

For milk alternatives, consider milk that is labeled as purely organic or rGBH-free or milk substitutes such as rice milk, almond milk, and oat milk but again, make sure these alternatives are organic and not made from genetically engineered crops and don't contain sugar or carrageenan.

The following web site maintains a list of organic milk products:

For suggestions on boycotting Monsanto products, visit:

The Pennsylvania Government Thinks You Are Too Dumb to Make Your Own Shopping Choices 

As of January 1, 2008, Pennsylvania will ban all labels on milk and dairy products that indicated they come from cows that haven’t been treated with artificial bovine growth hormone, also know as rBGH or rBST. State officials say that such labels are “confusing”.

Farmers use artificial bovine growth hormone to increase milk production. The U.S. government has long maintained that it is safe, but it is illegal in many other countries. Many American consumers dislike the idea of milk that comes from cows that are treated with artificial hormones, and many national grocery store chains have begun offering rBGH-free options, or stopped selling milk from rBGH-treated cows entirely.

In reaction, Monsanto, which manufactures rBGH, has spent more than a decade trying to persuade federal and state authorities to ban non-rBGH labels, and they have now managed to convince Dennis Wolff, Pennsylvania’s agriculture secretary to play it their way.

Wolff argues that “hormone free” labels are misleading, as cows produce hormones naturally. But even labels that are more carefully worded, such as “contains no artificial hormones” will be banned in Pennsylvania because Mr. Wolff says that there is no scientific test which can verify such a claim.

The ban will also extend to phrases such as “pesticide free” and “antibiotic free.” Wolff says such labels are confusing for consumers because they suggest milk without those labels is unsafe.

Mr. Wolff said his office had received many calls from confused consumers. However, his office could not provide a single survey showing that consumers were confused, or the name of even one consumer who had complained.

Aside from the fact that drinking cow's milk is not in your best interest if you’re trying to stay healthy (due to its significant amounts of pus containing leukemia and lymphoma which is transferable to humans, blood and other contaminants), the issue of truthful food labeling, and consumer free choice are still very important concerns.

Should you, as a consumer, have the freedom to choose freely between rBGH-laced milk and non-rBGH milk? And, if the answer is yes, shouldn’t the manufacturers be allowed to state what is (or is not) added to their milk to help you make that decision?

Consumer demand for milk that does not contain Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) forced many milk producers to stop using it. This latest tactic seems to be little more than Monsanto’s well-paid arm reaching out to take away your right to choose, and hence freeing them up to regain their lost market.

What is rBGH, and Why Should You Avoid it?

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) is a genetically engineered drug, created by the Monsanto Corporation, which is injected into dairy cows to increase their milk production.

Monsanto started pushing farmers to inject rBGH in 1994. Repeated injections of rBGH artificially stimulate cows to produce 10 to 25 percent more milk than normal for a few years, but then their milk production declines dramatically. It also causes serious health problems for the cows and poses a health risk to consumers, especially children.

Monsanto has continued to maintain that rBGH is completely safe, despite the fact that research has found the opposite to be true. Europe and Canada has banned it completely due to its health risks, as it’s been found to increase the levels of cancer causing chemicals in the milk.

Milk derived from rBGH-injected cows contains dramatically higher levels of IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor) identical to human IGF-1, which is a risk factor for breast and colon cancer. IGF-1 is not destroyed by pasteurization. IGF-1 has also been linked to:

Premature growth stimulation in infants
Glucose intolerance
Juvenile diabetes
Acceleration of any existing cancer cells or tumors

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in a classic move to protect Monsanto’s interests, didn’t even require that rBGH be adequately tested before allowing it on the market. Normally, a standard test of new biochemically produced products and animal drugs requires 24 months of testing with several hundred rats. But rBGH was tested for only 90 days on 30 rats.

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone – while increasing milk production for a short while – comes at a painful price for the cows. The cows’ udders swell and develop painful, bloody lesions -- an infection known as "mastitis" -- which is then treated with large doses of antibiotics. Not surprisingly, the very companies that produce rBGH add to their profits by also manufacturing antibiotics and tranquilizers, which they then sell to dairy farmers to combat these side effects -- which also end up in your milk.



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