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Bovine Growth Hormone Print E-mail
Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), also known as Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (rBST) is a genetically engineered copy of a naturally occurring hormone produced by cows. It is injected into a cow to artificially maintain her milk production.

There have been no long term studies of rBGH's effects on humans. It has been banned in Japan, Canada, Australia and the European Union. rBGH causes harm to cows and may pose a threat to humans. It has been linked to increased rates in colon, breast and prostate cancer.

The use of growth hormone on dairy cows increases the rate of mastitis. This leads to an increase in the use of antibiotics on the cows. The overuse of antibiotics is a serious problem in the livestock industry. It has contributed to the rise of “superbugs”, viruses that are becoming resistant to antibiotics and are linked to severe illnesses in humans.

The negative environmental impact of hormones entering waterways from livestock feedlots also is cause for alarm. Researchers have found that fish can exhibit significant effects from this pollution, e.g., females begin to exhibit male characteristics, and vice versa, in areas of high hormone concentrations.

So who produces milk that is free from rBST in South Africa? Clover Long Life Milk is marked as rBST-free, and Woolworths carry a range of Ayrshire Long Life Milk that is also marked as rBST-free. If you know of anyone else, please let us know.
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