A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF MILK AND DAIRY PRODUCTS


By Ray Fosterrlf@mt-rushmore.net

 

Cow’s milk is not the "perfect food" that it may once have been considered to be. Changes in American lifestyle and recent changes in dairy management and feeding practices have contributed to making milk and dairy hazardous to your health today. This is an introduction to some of the current health hazards of drinking milk and eating other dairy products.

Changes in American Lifestyle:

The physically inactive lifestyle in North America today makes people more sensitive to disease than they were years ago when most Americans lived and worked on the farm. A physically active, outdoor lifestyle gives the human body a resistance to disease not possible in relative physical inactivity. Eating largely processed and refined foods results in less resistance to disease. A third factor that contributes to an increased susceptibility to disease is an increase in the proportion of calories from fat in the American dietary. All of these changes in lifestyle have contributed to making milk consumption less well tolerated today than in past years. The earlier in an infant’s life cow’s milk is consumed the more hazardous it is. The longer milk and dairy products are consumed the longer the health hazard continues. The principal health hazards of milk and dairy products are allergies and auto-immune diseases including the development, in some people, of insulin dependent diabetes, bacterial and viral milk-borne infectious diseases, and protein overload diseases contributing to kidney failure and osteoporosis. Still to be discovered are the effects of cows being injected with bovine growth hormone.  

QUESTION: Is milk the perfect food?

ANSWER: Milk comes close to being a species specific perfect food.

Changes in Lifestyle of Dairy Cows:

The lifestyle of the cows has also changed – again, not for the better. This change has made the cows more susceptible to disease. Not only seldom do the "buffaloes roam" on the "home on the range", but the cows today seldom range to find their food as was customary for cows in past times for thousands of years. Today the cows are often fed in stalls and crowded together in close quarters. Both the crowding and the feeding practices lower the resistance of cows to disease. The practice of feeding cows ground-up cattle remnants as a protein supplement to increase the milk production greatly increases the potential for disease transmission among milk cows. This avenue of disease transmission was not present in the past when cows ate grass and hay as their staple diet. This single factor alone would make cow’s milk unsafe for human consumption today. Injecting cows with growth hormones to increase their milk yield, has impact on both cows and humans who drink their milk that is not fully known as yet.

QUESTION: What does "species specific" mean?

ANSWER: "Species specific" means that the milk of that species is specifically perfect for that species. In other words, cows milk is the perfect food for calves.

Lactose Intolerance:

Lactose intolerance sometimes clinically presents as vague symptoms of abdominal distress after drinking cow’s milk. Lactose intolerance means that the individual no longer has the enzyme to digest milk sugar (lactose) as they did at birth. The enzyme lactase is present at birth in order to digest the lactose in mother’s milk. Most people in the world over the age of four years have lost this enzyme. One of the many changes with maturation is to discard what is no longer needed. Lactose is a sugar found only in milk. Lactase is only needed in infancy when normally suckling on mother’s milk. In 1965 the landmark study at John Hopkins School of Medicine first observed that 15% of all whites and 70% of all blacks tested were unable to digest lactose. World population surveys show that 90% of Bantus, Thais, and Filipinos have no lactase in adulthood. Greek Cypriots, Japanese and Taiwanese are 85% without lactase. However, adult milk-drinking Danes, Finns, American whites, and Swiss have only 2 – 18% of the adult population unable to digest lactose. Without the lactase enzyme, the lactose in milk cannot be digested in the stomach and small intestines. Therefore the lactose passes into the large bowel where it is fermented by bacteria normally present in the large bowel. This produces carbon dioxide gas and lactic acid, which usually causes abdominal distress, including bloating, or vague discomfort, belching and a watery diarrhea.

Milk Allergies and Diabetes:

Human infants are born with immature intestinal tracts. Immaturity of the intestinal tract means that not all of the food eaten by the infant is broken down into its smallest units of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates before being absorbed into the blood stream. This immaturity is designed to let the infant absorb directly into its blood stream the large protective proteins from mother’s milk that the mother’s immune system has manufactured for its protection. This design allows these immune protein complexes to pass from mother to infant, in the mother’s milk. The first few days of a newborn baby’s life, mother’s milk contains colostrum, which has antibodies from the mother’s immune system, and these antibodies continue to be present to some degree in the mother’s breast milk. These immune complexes (antibodies) are designed to protect the baby from disease during this vulnerable period of its life before its own immune system has had time to make its own antibodies. If, during this critical time in the baby’s life, cow’s milk is fed to the infant, cow milk proteins get into the baby’s blood stream through its immature gastro-intestinal system, instead of the mother’s immune proteins contained in the colostrum. The baby’s immune system recognizes these large cow proteins as foreign and in time builds antibodies to fight these foreign cow proteins. This has been discovered to be a cause of insulin dependent diabetes. In some people, the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin look just like cow milk proteins. The baby’s immune system builds antibodies against these foreign cow proteins. The end result is that these baby’s immune system in time, destroys its own insulin-producing cells and develops insulin dependent diabetes. The same principle of the body-building antibodies against itself, likely holds true for a whole spectrum of allergic conditions caused by drinking cow’s milk. The kidney disease, nephrosis, may well be related to auto-immune milk disease as well as chronic sinusitis, ear infections and bronchitis, so common in early childhood. Acne and a spectrum of gastro-intestinal-related conditions such as anemia, bloody and non-bloody diarrhea, bloating, cramping and abdominal pains may also result from milk-related intestinal allergies. A two or three-week trial of total elimination of milk and milk products, in conjunction with written dietary instructions for the patient, is presently the most reliable diagnostic and treatment procedure to determine and treat milk-related allergies.

In Sardinia, a large Mediterranean island, there is a very high and rising incidence of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, which is now 30.2 per 100,000 people per year. This is the second highest rate in Europe after Finland. Sardinia has a very high prevalence of positive islet cell antibodies in school children, again the second highest after Finland. In comparing some other European countries for the incidence of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and cow's milk consumption, it was found that the individual countries fit a linear regression model with an R2 of .44. Sardinia was found to lie far from the regression line. Sardinia's actual insulin dependent diabetes mellitus incidence was 3 times higher than the incidence predicted by milk consumption. The rising insulin dependent diabetes mellitus over the last several decades in Sardinia points to other environmental factors other than cow's milk. No more than one third of the actual insulin dependent diabetes mellitus is accounted for by milk consumption. Although a possible triggering role for cow's milk in the pathogenesis of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus cannot be entirely ruled out, a strong role for some other still unidentified environmental factors which makes the Sardinians peculiarly susceptible is suggested by this study.

"Cow's Milk Consumption and Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus Incidence in Sardinia", Muntoni, Sandro, M.D., et al, Diabetes Care, April 1994;17(4):346-347. (Address: Sandro Muntoni, M.D., Center For Metabolic Diseases and Atherosclerosis, St. Michele Hospital, Calgliari, Italy) Published by ITServices 1994 
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Milk became a suspected factor, in the etiology of diabetes mellitus, from epidemiologic studies of breast feeding in Denmark. Early studies suggested that breast-fed infants were less likely to develop diabetes, than those who were never breast-fed. Further studies have documented antibodies to a variety of cow's milk proteins that are present in increased frequency, and increased titer in children with insulin dependent diabetes, compared to nondiabetic siblings. A recent study, by Canadian and Finish investigators, found that antibodies to a unique 17-amino acid protein derived from bovine serum albumin in 100% of newly-diagnosed Finish diabetic children. They were not found in the nondiabetic children or healthy adult controls. After the diabetes developed, the antibody level decreased over time. These studies suggest breast-feeding during the first several months of life might provide immune protection against beta cell damage. The early introduction of cow's milk may enhance the likelihood of beta cell inflammation. Immunosuppressive agents have been considered in inhibiting the auto-immune process of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, but toxicity and adequate suppression have been problems. There is a large trial underway using nicotinamide in large doses, in several thousand children and young adults at risk for insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. The possibility of using the antioxidants found in beta-carotene, the B complex vitamins, and vitamins C and E have also generated interest.

"Nutrition and the Etiology of Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus," Drash, Allan L., M.D., Nutrition & the M.D., February, 1993;19(2):1- 3. (Address: Allan L. Drash, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Professor of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15261 U.S.A.) 
Published by ITServices 1993; (916)483-1085; (916)483-1431 FAX

Milk Allergy and Asthma & Dermatitis:

Asthma – Food: 
Food can trigger an asthma attack, especially in those children who have a history of atopic dermatitis. Up to 10% of asthma cases could be linked to food allergy. If a patient has severe asthma which is refractory to standard medication, food allergy is something to consider. Food allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital. Labeling on food packages can be a problem. Egg is by far the most common food that causes a reaction, with peanuts and milk contributing to a large portion of allergic reactions. "Food Can Trigger an Asthma Attack: Up to 10% of Cases," Bykowski, Mike, Family Practice News, July 1,1997;60. (Address: Mike Bykowski, Family Practice News, 12230 Wilkins Avenue, Rockville, MD 20852 U.S.A.)

Published by ITServices 1997 
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Volume 7, Number 9-10

Atopic Dermatitis-cow’s milk: 
During the first two years of life, dietary management may be helpful, especially the elimination of cow’s milk, the most common allergen in infancy. 
Johnson ML: Prevalence of dermatologic disease among persons 1-74 years of age: United States. Advance data from vital and health statistics of the National Center for Health Statistics, No 4, January 26, 1977

Osteoporosis and Milk:

In the public mind, milk is the answer to the epidemic of osteoporosis being experienced in the western world. Milk is considered the best and essential source of calcium to prevent bone softening and fractures from porous bones commonly seen in the developed countries of the world. Research has shown that it has never been possible to increase the bone mineral content of the bones using cow’s milk as a calcium source. The vast majority of the world’s population does not drink cow’s milk nor do they have osteoporosis (soft, porous, calcium-deficient bones). Why do the nations that drink the most milk have the greatest amount of fractures from osteoporosis? Something does not make sense with the idea that milk is a wonderful source of calcium for your bones.

The truth is that osteoporosis in developed nations is not a calcium deficiency but rather caused by protein overload in the diet. Milk, instead of solving the problem of protein overload in the diet, contributes to the problem. In addition to having a high protein content, milk also has a high phosphorous content which is needed by calves but not by humans. For humans, excess phosphorous and proteins are a burden that needs to be excreted by the kidneys. All the protein needed by the body are best supplied from plants. Animal proteins, such as found in milk, beef, fish and fowl, are not a necessity for good health. They are metabolically acidic and when they are eaten, there is usually an excess of protein in the diet and the animal proteins must be neutralized before they can be excreted by the kidney. The body cannot store excess protein. Calcium is the human metabolic buffer used to neutralize acidic substances. The bones are the body storehouse of calcium. The bones are very dynamic structures constantly being formed and taken apart by the body. When the body needs large amounts of calcium to neutralize large amounts of acidic excess proteins for excretion by the kidneys, the calcium is taken from the bones. Proteins from plants may also be eaten in excess, but plant proteins do not present the same acidic problem to the body that animal proteins do. Plant proteins leave an alkaline and not an acid residue and so do not deplete the body calcium stores in the same way. While milk contains calcium, because of the high protein and phosphorous content of cow’s milk, it is not possible to drink enough milk to have more calcium retained in the body than is excreted along with the excess protein and phosphorus in the milk. Drinking milk usually results in no contribution to your bone calcium bank deposit. This is why the great majority of the world’s population has no osteoporosis problems, even though they do not drink much milk. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

Milk-borne Bacterial, Viral and Prion Diseases:

Why is milk pasteurized? Milk is pasteurized in an effort to sterilize the bacteria that are an inescapable part of cow’s milk. Pasteurization has made milk safe to drink from the standpoint of tuberculosis and brucellosis. However, today with the practice of feeding cows protein supplements (ground-up discarded parts of cows) a new set of diseases are being transmitted by milk that pasteurization does not prevent. Leukemia, immune-deficiency and other viruses and a new set of disease agents known as prions are today found in milk in increasing frequency. Viruses and prions are not destroyed by pasteurization. Thus milk is a carrier of these virus and prion diseases or other bacterial diseases that pasteurization does not prevent.

Some of the scientific evidence for this follows:

Johne’s disease is a chronic enteritis, or inflammation of the small intestine in cattle or other ruminants (animals that chew the cud) that is caused by Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, which has been suspected to be involved in Crohn’s disease in humans (a chronic intestinal infection or inflammation). In one genetic study, DNA sequences of the bacterium were found in 13 of 18 samples from patients with Crohn’s disease. In another study, 26 of 40 intestinal samples from Crohn’s patients had the bacterium, while healthy controls yielded only 5 cases out of 40. About 1 million people in the U.S. are affected with Crohn’s disease. Dr. Mike Collins, a research veterinarian in the department of pathobiological sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, says that the two diseases, Crohn’s and Johne’s, are remarkably similar. According to Dr. Collins, "recent information suggests that M. paratuberculosis is more widely spread than previously thought, or could be a food-borne pathogen." Pasteurization time required to kill this pathogen is 9 minutes – normal pasteurization time today is just 15 seconds. Hoard’s Dairyman, 1/25/95.

"Bovine leukemia virus is leukemogenic (can cause leukemia) in at least two mammalian species, is wide-spread in commercial dairy herds, and can infect a wide range of hosts in vivo (in the body)…, including human cells in vitro (in test tubes)." Science 1981;213(4511):1014-1016

Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) antibodies were present in 59% of newborn calves tested. Canadian J of Comparative Medicine 1979;43(2):173-179. If the body has made an antibody to an antigen, it means that the antigen (BLV) must be present. Finding an antibody to a virus is a test for the presence of the virus. The virus itself is so small that it is difficult to find directly.

Iowa (a dairy state) has higher rates than the national average for human leukemias. American J of Epidemiology 1980:112(1):80-92

A study looking at Iowa residents found "a high positive correlation" between males with acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) and cattle density. The researchers wrote: "This relationship is greater for dairy cattle than for beef cattle. There is an additional positive relationship between counties with excessive ALL and the presence of dairy herds affected with bovine lymphosarcoma." American J Epidemiology 1980:112(1):80-92.

Pennsylvania veterinarians have been able to grow BLV in human cells in the laboratory. A 1980 study showed an increase in human leukemia in areas with high levels of bovine leukemia. Science 1981;213(4511):1014-1016

Some researchers have thought that bovine proteins may be specially potent lymphoid stimulants, which is interesting with the recent evidence in case control and cohort studies regarding milk consumption. Chronic lymphoid stimulation from foods could be a cofactor in conjunction with an oncogenic virus or genetic susceptibility. Even though the nutritional connection cannot be proven, there is enough evidence to support further investigation.

"Nutritional Factors and the Development of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma: A Review of the Evidence", Davis, Scott, Cancer Research, October 1, 1992;52:5492s-5495s. (Address: Scott Davis, Program in Epidemiology, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98104, U.S.A.)

Published by ITServices 1993 
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Cows, Farm Animals, House Pets and Dairy Products: 
This study evaluated the relationship between dairy product consumption and multiple sclerosis. A strong correlation between liquid cow milk consumption and multiple sclerosis prevalence has been previously shown. This present study analyzed the correlation between figures of national cow milk production and multiple sclerosis prevalence in 20 countries. There were significant correlations between cow milk production per inhabitant, national bovine density per inhabitant, and local bovine geographic density and multiple sclerosis prevalence. These associations were weaker than that found with fresh liquid milk consumption. There was no correlation found between other farm animals or pets. This epidemiologic information suggests a role of fresh cow's milk in multiple sclerosis. The nature of the risk factor, whether it be a metabolite, toxin, virus or some other entity is still unknown.

"Correlation Analysis Between Bovine Populations, Other Farm Animals, House Pets, and Multiple Sclerosis Prevalence", Malosse, D. and Perron, H., Neuroepidemiology, 1993;12:15-27. (Address: Dr. Malosse, Army Medical Research Center (CRSSA) 24, Avenue Du Maquis- Du-Gresivaudan, B.P. 87, F-38702 La Tronche Cedex, France) 
Published by ITServices 1993 
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Viruses in Food: 
This is a commentary by a California physician in which he states his own support for the theory that diet can influence the occurrence of cancer, possibly by animal viruses surviving the cooking process in flesh foods or through milk consumption. The author notes that the Navajo Indians, who extensively cook their meat and abstain from chicken and milk, have virtually no cancer. Another physician notes that pasteurization of cow's milk does not kill the udder wart virus. The author questions whether boiling of milk will kill this virus. It is questioned whether the fowl leukosis virus found in all chicken eggs can survive the hard boiling process. The response by the editor is these questions are virtually impossible to assess. The editor states he does have some concern about the consumption of certain foods possibly causing exposure to retroviruses and prions found in illnesses such as kuru. He also states that meat consumption is generally not healthy and that we should be eating more fish, but watch out for the worms.

"Animal Viruses in Food", Roth, Robert L., M.D. and Nash, Gerard K., D.O., Cortlandt Forum, December 1991;46-28;93. (Address: Robert L. Roth, M.D., 2444 Moorpark Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128/Gerard K. Nash, D.O. , 3400 Palmer Drive, Amarillo, TX 79109, U.S.A.) 
Published by ITServices 1992 
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"AIDS-Related Virus Affecting U.S. Cows and Milk", (government says no need for quarantine of cows or testing of foods, yet say further testing is needed), Day, Lorraine, M.D., National Health Alert, September 1991;1(8):3. (Address: Lorraine Day, M.D., National Health Alert, P.O. Box 952, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270-0952, U.S.A.)

The relationship between milk intake and cancer incidence was investigated in an 11? year follow-up of 15,914 individuals in Norway, which is a high dairy product consuming dairy country. Cancer was diagnosed in over 1400 individuals. The authors conclude that there was no correlation with total cancer incidence and milk consumption. There was, though, a strong positive association with milk consumption greater than two glasses per day versus less than one glass per day for cancers of the lymph organs. There was a weak positive correlation with milk intake and kidney cancer and cancers of the female reproductive organs. There was an inverse correlation found with cancers of the bladder and lung. Things in milk suspected to be possible procarcinogens are dietary fat, bovine leukemia virus and carcinogens derived from the bovine diet. Anticarcinogens are vitamin A, calcium and possibly riboflavin (vitamin B2). The authors conclude that further investigation of an agent that is transmitted to humans through cow's milk needs further study because of the striking association between milk consumption and cancer of the lymphatic organs. 9563 "Milk Consumption and Cancer Incidence: A Norwegian Prospective Study", Ursin, G., et al, British Journal of Cancer, 1990;61:454- 459. (Address: I. Heuch, Center For Epidemiologic Research, University of Bergen HIB, N-5008, Bergen, Norway)

Published by ITServices 1990 
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Atherosclerosis, Strokes and Heart Attacks are Increased by Drinking Cow’s Milk:

The current major cause of death in developed, Western countries is coronary artery occlusion. Death from a "heart attack" is practically unknown in the "third world" or developing countries. There is mounting evidence that the cause for this striking difference is the difference in life styles, particularly physical exercise and diet. Milk contributes to the development of atherosclerosis and its resultant strokes and heart attacks in the developed nations. What follows is a sampling of some of the scientific evidence for the role milk and dairy products play in the cause of the Western world’s No. 1 killer:

Sucrose and Lactose Consumption: 
This letter to the editor notes that lactose (milk sugar) produces greater enhancements of hypercholesterolemia in atherosclerosis than sucrose in rabbits and baboons. In a controlled metabolic study of young men serum cholesterol levels rose from 185 mg% to 231 mg% on lactose and fell to 162 mg% on sucrose. The average plasma lipid profile was significantly and adversely affected by 2 quarts of skimmed milk consumed daily compared with a control period in which the carbohydrate was balanced mainly by a sugar containing drink. The author notes that worldwide coronary heart disease was the most prevalent in populations who have a high prevalence of lactase persistence in adult life and associated high intake of milk. Those populations without these linked genetic and dietary characteristics are relatively little affected despite a high intake of sugar such as Jamaica or the prevalence of insulin resistance in the Puma Indians.

"Diet and Coronary Heart Disease", Segall, J.J., Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, March 1993;86:183-184. (Address: J.J. Segall, 308 Cricklewood Lane, London NW2 2PX, United Kingdom) 
Published by ITServices 1994 
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The authors conclude that IgE may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of unstable angina pectoris and acute myocardial infarction. IgE may affect cardiovascular disease through two related mechanisms. One is that IgE mediated antigenic response can induce activation and aggravation of platelets resulting in hyperplasia of arterial smooth muscle. Also IgE mediated release of histamine, leukotrienes and other inflammatory mediators may alter local blood flow. It has been noted that decreased levels of IgE have shown clinical improvement in cardiovascular disease in human subjects after 26 weeks of strict dietary avoidance of proteins containing eggs and cow's milk. It was further noted that, when a lipid rich diet was applied with the allergens, experimental atherosclerosis was accelerated. Higher levels of IgE in the serum and acute ischemic coronary syndromes were found where formation of the thrombus was the major mechanism.

"Levels of IgE in Serum of Patients With Coronary Arterial Disease", Korkmaz, Mehmet Emin, et al, International Journal of Cardiology, 1991;31:199-204. (Address: Mehmet Emin Korkmaz, M.D., Alabas, Sok. 18/2, Cankaya, Ankara 06690, Turkey)

Published by ITServices 1991 
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Milk fat has been identified as a (cholesterol-elevating) fat because it contains cholesterol and is primarily saturated. Journal of Dairy Science 1991:74(11):4002-4012.

Two glasses of whole milk contain about the same amount of cholesterol as one 3-ounce beef steak.

Greenland Eskimos, who have a very low incidence of ischemic heart disease, have a high-fat, high-protein diet, but a very low intake of milk. British J. of Preventive and Social Medicine 1977;31:81-85

Bovine Growth Hormone:

If the above were not enough reasons for limiting infants to mother’s milk and weaning children and adults off milk, here is one more thing to note. There is evidence that the Bovine Growth Hormone which is injected into cows to increase their milk production is found in the milk. What effect Bovine Growth Hormone will have on infants, children and adults who drink milk from these cows is as yet, incompletely known. With the current practice of pooling milk, there is an increased opportunity for milk contaminants to be spread.

BOVINE GROWTH HORMONE - Dairy Farmer - The use of Bovine Growth Hormone ( rBGH) is nearing its peak, according to a survey of 400 dairy farmers with 40 or more cows. Only 20% of the producers that were surveyed tried rBGH since it was released for commercial use in 1994. Sixty percent continue to use it. The most frequent reasons cited by dairy farmers for not using rBGH was philosophical opposition and their belief that rBGH causes health problems in cows. "Bovine Growth Hormone," Nutrition Week, July 19, 1996; 7/Dairy Today, October, 1995;55. (Address: Nutrition Week, 910 17th St, Ste 413, Washington, D.C. 20006 U.S.A.)

Published by ITServices 1996 Vol.6 No 9-10. 
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CANCER - Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) - The Cancer Prevention Breast Coalition released a study concluding that Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) that is found in milk can increase a person's risk of getting breast and colon cancer. It has been suggested that Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) increases levels of insulin-like growth factor which stimulates and regulates cell growth and division in humans and cows. BGH appears to alter human breast milk and saliva. Monsanto criticizes Epstein's work as merely "one man's opinion". "BGH Opponents Examine Possible Link to Cancer," Nutrition Week, February 2, 1996;7. (Address: Nutrition Week, 910 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006, U.S.A.)

Published by ITServices 1996 Vol.6 No 4-6. 
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From March 15, 1994 to Feb. 15, 1995, 806 farmers complained of adverse reactions in cows that had been treated with bovine growth hormone (rBGH), including mastitis, udder swelling, lameness, abortion and even death. The reactions occurred from within minutes after the injection of rBGH to several weeks after treatment. The FDA, in 1994, proved that this hormone increases milk output in dairy cows. More than 13,000 dairy farms, or 11% of dairy farmers, have purchased this drug. Estimates of the widespread use of rBGH are between 10% and 30% of farmers. Only 496 of the 806 complaints were possibly related to the rBGH, according to the FDA analysis. The remaining 310 reports were not positively related to rBGH treatment. The most common complaint in connection with the drug was mastitis at 121 reports, and the least common was death in 20 reports. Within the first 6 months of approval to use rBGH, Monsanto, who produces rBGH, received a total of 96 complaints. The FDA states that "the number and severity of the reported conditions raised no new animal health concerns based on data from clinical trials, as set out in the product's approved labeling".

"Over 800 Farmers Report Problems Related to rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormone)", Nutrition Week, June 2, 1995;25(21):6. (Address: Nutrition Week, Community Nutrition Institute, 910 17th Street, N.W., Suite 413, Washington, D.C. 20006, U.S.A.) 
Published by ITServices 1995 
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Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) is the first in the family of genetic engineered chemicals which industry is aggressively promoting with the FDA's support. The FDA approved BGH in November of 1993. This hormone is a natural occurring substance which controls the impulse in a cow's nervous system to produce milk, overrides the biological control in lactation which protects health and physical stamina of milk cows. On the average a milk cow treated with BGH will produce up to 20% more milk. By boosting milk output the natural capacity of a milk cow will increase the risk of illness and disease in the animal in which the agency believes to be manageable with antibiotics and other drugs. The FDA acknowledges that BGH would increase the risk to human health. Insulin growth factor I is another health risk proposed by BGH therapy. The FDA's approval of BGH in February of 1994 has been met with a significant amount of criticism and anger "Home and Abroad, FDA Befriends Chemical Firms", Leonard, Rodney E., Nutrition Week, April 15, 1994;4-5. (Address: Nutrition Week, 2001 S. St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, U.S.A.)

Published by ITServices 1994 
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