Diet & Health

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1994:

MILK PRODUCED WITH RBST GOES ON SALE
Milk produced through the use of recombinant
(genetically enginneered) bovine somatotropin growth hor-
m o n e went on sale to the general public for the first time on
February 4, a month after a review of the scientific literature
on the production stimulant by the White House Office of
Management and Budget concluded that, “There is no evi-
dence that rBST poses a health threat to humans or animals.”
The Pure Food Campaign led anti-rBST protests in at least nine
cities. The drug boosts milk production per cow and extends
the time a cow can be milked between the births of calves. It is
bitterly opposed by many dairy farmers because in reducing the
number of cows needed to meet the demand for milk, it will
put some farmers out of business. Consumer advocates are
concerned that despite government assurances, residues may
get into milk, producing such effects as earlier puberty and
greater breast development in young women––and perhaps
stimulating hormonally triggered cancers. Concerned about
boycott pressure, the Food and Drug Administration warned
dairy producers and distributors that they can identify milk as
being produced without the use of rBST if they can prove it,
but cannot say simply “rBST-free,” since milk produced with
rBST is also technically rBST-free. They must also state on a
label that, “No significant difference has been shown between
milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows.”

The USDA announced February 4 that seven of the
26 turkey plants that produce 64% of all the turkey meat eaten
in the U.S. have serious sanitation and/or quality control defi-
ciences––including one owned by Frank Perdue, a frequent
target of the Coalition for Non-Violent Food. The deficiencies
were found during the first round of inspections under the New
Turkey Inspection System instituted back in 1985. Round Hill
Foods, a division of Wampler-Longacre Turkey Inc., was
cited for pushing fecal matter into the body cavities of turkeys
with a misdirected spray nozzle intended to cleanse them.
Air Canada announced January 1 that effective in
May it will cease serving pate made from duck and goose livers
to first-class passengers.
Wholesome & Hearty Foods, of Portland, Oregon,
has doubled sales of its vegetarian “gardenburgers” four years
running. It now serves more than 10,000 stores and restaurants.
The FDA on January 22 announced limits on the lev-
els of contaminants permitted in seafood, recommended tem-
peratures for cooking and processing, and a requirement that
the 3,800 U.S. seafood processors must phase in state-of-the-art
quality control over the next decade. The reforms mark the
first serious federal attempt to regulate seafood safety.
Meat from animals killed in the wild is not
inspected by the USDA prior to sale for human consumption,
but Ohio plans to institute inspection at the state level via legis-
lation that has already cleared the state house and is expected to
clear the state senate in March.
The Economic Evening News of Nanjing, China,
reported January 23 that a local dog meat dealer is now selling
40-50 dead cats a day too, mainly to upper scale restaurants.
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