Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I'll take a scoop of Chunky Monkey without hormones, please

Ben & Jerry's is in the midst of a showdown with Monsanto.
Ben & Jerry's Homemade, one of the first companies to label its ice cream as free of a synthetic hormone, is protesting a move by some states, including Ohio, to restrict such labeling.

The ice cream maker has joined a national campaign to block what critics say is an effort driven by Monsanto (MON), which markets recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST, also known as recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rBGH.
Monsanto claims the labeling implies that growth hormones are harmful, yet there's no scientific evidence to support that claim since the FDA approves it for use in diary cows. Yeah, the FDA approving it makes me feel safe. (sarcasm) It's so safe that it's banned in Canada, Japan, parts of the European Union, Australia and New Zealand.

Don't you just love the way these huge companies work? They favor the "free market" as long as they keep making money, but let something come along that might lead people to ask questions - like why is there hormone free ice cream? - and they start lobbying state legislators to change the rules.
Monsanto says the issue centers on accuracy in labeling, while critics say consumers have a right to know what is and isn't in their food.
Monsanto should check Ben & Jerry's labeling again. It appears on their new organic line of ice cream and states it's made from certified organic ingredients without the use of conventional pesticides or growth hormones, and in parentheses they include the term "Whew!" What's inaccurate about that? It's exactly the information healthy eating gurus look for when shopping.

As for me, I love ice cream of all kinds (with or without hormones), but if you prefer ice cream made with hormone-free milk, then you should have that choice and labels should be marked accordingly.


abi said...

It's exactly the information healthy eating gurus look for when shopping.

And that's exactly what the junk peddlers don't want - an informed public.

Kathy said...

Absolutely, Abi. They prefer to put profits over people's health and wellbeing.

Lew Scannon said...

I'm sure Monsanto didn't use political connections and pull strings to get rBGH approved, just like they didn't use their connections (Donald Rumsfeld) to the Reagan administration to get aspartame approved.

Kathy said...

Lew, I'm sure you're right!