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Big Milk, Big Muscle, Big Money

First Broadcast: November 29, 1994

The artificial hormone used to produce more milk in cows has a few names and acronyms, Bovine somatotropin or BST, Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone or RBGH.
The corporate giant Monsanto developed the drug and it has been used in the United States for years. It argues the drug produces more milk that is indiscernible to regular milk.

Critics have long fought against the drug saying it raises serious question about the quality of the milk, health of the cow and of the people drinking milk. The drug produced by Monsanto lists 21 possible side effects including an infection in cows brought about by overwork producing milk.

Monsanto has spent millions in lobbying dairy associations and politicians in Washington to offset any criticism of the drug. 90 per cent of farmers in the United States don't use it and many label their products BGH free, which goes against Federal rules.

This type of drug still hasn't been approved for use in Canada. Health Canada was on the verge of approving a drug last year but there was an investigation into allegations that representatives of Monsanto tried to expedite matters by offering two million dollars to the government department.