- Injected into dairy cattle, the product can increase milk production from 10% up to 40%.
- In November 1993, the product was approved for use in the U.S. by the FDA, and its use began in February 1994.
- The product is now sold in all 50 states. According to Monsanto, approximately one third of dairy cattle in the U.S. are injected with Posilac [the brand name of rBGH]; approximately 13,000 dairy producers use the product.
- It is now the top selling dairy cattle pharmaceutical product in the U.S.
- The FDA does not require special labels for products produced from cows given rbST.
- Use of rBGH in cows also increases insulin growth factor (IGF-1) in milk.
Meanwhile, the European Commission had commissioned two independent committees of internationally recognized experts to undertake a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on both the veterinary and public health effects of rBGH. The veterinary committee fully confirmed and extended the Canadian warnings and conclusions. The public health committee confirmed earlier reports of excess levels of the naturally occurring Insulin-like-Growth Factor One (IGF-1), including its highly potent variants, in rBGH milk and concluded that these posed major risks of cancer, particularly of the breast and prostate, besides promoting the growth and invasiveness of cancer cells by inhibiting their programmed self-destruction (apoptosis). Faced with this latest well documented scientific evidence from both Canada and Europe, the U.S. bowed to the inevitable and failed to challenge the Codex ruling in support of the European moratorium. [emphasis mine]
In short, rBGH causes increased levels of IGF-1 in milk. IGF-1 (in high levels) causes breast and prostate cancer. Non-rBGH milk normally contains IGF-1 too - just in lower levels:
Milk contains IGF-1 for good reason: milk is designed for babies, and IGF-1 helps us grow. IGF-1 affects growth, as well as other functions, and is normally found in our blood. Higher levels of IGF-1, however, appear to stimulate cancer cells.