Got Milk? - Only if the Mustache is rBGH-Free

March 31 2009 - 2:22 PM

This was contributed by the local Chicago Field Organizer for Food and Water Watch, Dan Cannon. Dan can be reached via email at dcannon@fwwatch.org.

When purchasing milk at a grocery store, more consumers are choosing organic milk or at least milk that does not contain recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). Consumers are avoiding milk that was produced by cows injected with rBGH because of health concerns.
As consumers we have this choice, unfortunately, school children do not. This is why Food and Water Watch, a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food, is running the “School Milk” Campaign. 

Why is rBGH so bad for us? In 1993 an agriculture company called Monsanto created rBGH to increase milk production within cows. Injections of rBGH increase another powerful hormone in the cow and the cow’s milk, called IGF-1. Too much IGF-1 in humans is linked with increased rates of colon, breast and prostate cancer. Although further research is necessary to determine whether there is a hard link between rBGH in milk and increased IGF-1 in humans, a potential linkage should make consumers think twice.
Evan large corporations are beginning to listen to consumers' concerns. Companies like Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and Chipotle have all stopped selling rBGH milk. As a result our public school lunch programs have become the last remaining market, the dumping ground, for rBGH milk.
Here in Chicago the School Milk campaign is working with local school districts to educate them around the issue and ask them to switch to rBGH-free milk. Specifically Oak Park School District 97 has been informed that their school milk is produced with rBGH. Fortunately, The Chicago Public School District is rBGH-free. CPS is setting a national example, showing rBGH-free milk is not only available to schools but affordable.
Nationally the School Milk Campaign is urging legislators to support giving our schools the clear choice to buy rBGH-free and organic milk by adding clarifying language to the Child Nutrition Act, which is up for reauthorization this summer. Food and Water Watch is asking Senator Durbin to be a champion for healthy, rBGH-free milk in our schools.
As a constituent you can take action by signing this petition. Our children deserve the healthiest milk available

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