November 24, 2007

PA to ban 'no artificial hormones' milk labeling

Spurred on by farmers who have grown used to boosting production by growth hormones, and by the companies who produce those hormones, the PA Department of Agriculture will ban the use of labels on milk indicating the source was not treated with the hormones.

The Secretary claims this is because the labels cannot be verified, because hormones are passed naturally in milk and cannot be removed through processing. Since the artificial hormones cannot be distinguished from natural ones there's no way to verify whether the cow was treated.

Of course, there's no way to verify after the fact that an animal was killed according to religious practices, or that it was treated humanely during its life. That's why people setup audits and other practices to verify these claims.

And, to further the impression that the folks at Monsanto are writing the laws, this is being done despite nobody having complained to the Secretary of Agriculture about the label being confusing (see NY Times article, below), and even though consumers are demanding to see the labels:

"The majority of (milk processing) companies want to have the option of putting that on the label because the consumers want it," said Earl Fink, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Association of Milk Dealers. "Our customers are demanding it." (see Valley Independent article, below)

Further reading:

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