Debra Lynn Dadd

Hormones in milk


Dear Debra,
I am having a hard time in my limited free time finding info about rGBH and rBST in milk. I have seen the link on your site to the recently published book about the dangers of rGBH in milk. Is rBST the same as rGBH and is it also dangerous? I do understand that they are both hormones designed to induce higher milk production in cows.

I just can't find the information which tells me whether to avoid both hormones in milk or just avoid rGBH. I know some of these hormones occur naturally in the cow to create the lactation however it is my impression I should be looking for milk which states something to the effect of, "organic", "no added hormones" or "rGBH free". Also, if a milk carton says rGBH free it doesn't mean it is rBST free--are the hormones used together or do the farmers use one or the other? How do I know if I am being duped if buying a carton which says rGBH free--am I likely getting one which has rBST instead?

Also, it is my impression that both rGBH and rBST are hormones which influence milk production in cows and can not affect growth or sexual development in humans. Is this true?
Thank you for helping clear this up!



I'm going to give you a short and general answer to this, as I, like you, don't have the time to look up everything.

I always look for products that are in their most natural state possible. So milk or milk products for me would be "organic," "bio-dynamic" (which is even more in harmony with nature than organic), or "grass-fed" (which makes an even more nutritious milk). It's unlikely these milks would contain any added hormones, but to be sure, you can always call the manufacturer and double check.

If the label says "rGBH free," you may be getting one which has rBST instead. "Hormone-free" would be a better choice.

I don't drink milk myself, but I do eat Natural By Nature certified organic, grass-fed cream. I buy it at my local natural food store. The label says "our dairy herds are not treated with synthetic hormones or antibiotics.

I also eat Brown Cow Yogurt, also certified organic, which says "No Artificial Growth Hormones" on the label.

I'm usually looking for indicators of GOOD on product labels, rather than looking for what to avoid.

Debra :-)


rBST (recombinant Bovine Somatotropin) and rBGH (recombant Bovine GRowth Hormone) are one in the same. If it says rBST free then you're ok.


I guess even if it is rGBH free, a person should always buy organic things. There is this cheese in my local health food store that is sold both as rGBH free and organic. The organic one is more expensive, but I think it is worth it. Even if something is rGBH free, there might still be some pesticides (from the grass) in the cheese. Correct me if I am wrong, but that's what I think.

I cannot find unpasturized milk in that store... they have organic milk but not unpasturized milk... The author of The Whole Soy Story, Kaayla, wrote: Most of the problems attributed to cow's milk do not apply to raw unpasteurized dairy, which can be a very nourishing and healing food.

POSTED BY YH :: MICHIGAN USA :: 11/24/2008 11:58 AM


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