Monsanto Looks to Sell Dairy Hormone Business
By ANDREW MARTIN and ANDREW POLLACK
Published: August 6, 2008
After struggling to gain consumer acceptance, Monsanto on Wednesday announced that it would try to sell its business of producing an artificial growth hormone for dairy cows. The company will focus instead on its thriving business of selling seeds and developing ways to improve crops.
The decision comes as more retailers, saying they are responding to consumer demand, are selling dairy products from cows not treated with the artificial hormone.
Wal-Mart, Kroger and Publix are among the retailers that now sell house-brand milk from untreated cows. Almost all of the fresh milk sold by Dean Foods, the nation’s largest milk bottler, also comes from cows that were not treated with the artificial hormone, a spokeswoman said.
But Elena Gonser, a dairy farmer in Everson, Wash., contended that consumers had been misled by misinformation. She added that Posilac, which is also known as bovine somatotropin or BST, was safe and effective.
“I believe it’s just catering to ignorance to tell people it’s BST-free, and it’s better for you,” said Ms. Gonser, who along with her husband runs a farm that has 70 cows. Read More
Even though there is absolutely no difference between the milk coming from cows treated with this natural hormone and those that aren’t, there has been a lot of criticism of it’s use. While many of the accusations are unfounded several companies are promoting their milk as being rBST free. One thing that it does do is allow us to produce more with less, which is what agriculture will have to continue doing to feed the world.