The dairies comprising the Tillamook County Creamery Association are voting today on whether to accept a board decision to phase out the growth hormone Posilac (rbGH), according to a report in today’s Oregonian.
Tillamook’s board wants to protect the integrity of its brand, which has come under increasing fire from customers suspicious of the growth hormone. Many of the dairies—under the approving gaze of Monsanto, the company that makes Posilac—regard this as an unfair abridgement of their right to dairy as they see fit.
Monsanto argues that Posilac carries no health risks for people or cows, and notes that the drug was approved by the FDA. But, as the Oregonian article reports, "The FDA approved Posilac’s use in 1994 in one of the most oft-criticized decisions in its history because agency employees with former ties to Monsanto were involved."
In the end, the dairy industry will follow its customers. Fortunately, Tillamook’s customers have been clear: they are not convinced that bovine growth hormone is safe. And, when it comes to meddling with the food supply, people want safety proved first.