Published on: April 13, 2009A coalition of 29 groups that includes farmers and consumer advocates has urged Kansas Gove. Katherine Sebelius to veto legislation passed by the State Legislature that would require that dairy products from cows not treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH or rbST) carry a disclaimer that says, “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined there are no significant differences between milk from cows that receive injections of the artificial hormone and milk from those that do not.”
The goal of the disclaimer is to lessen the impression that cows not treated with the artificial hormone that induces them to produce more milk are any safer than cows that are.
Gov. Sebelius, a Democrat, has ten days to veto the bill. The clock is running in other ways: she also is President Obama’s pick to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).
According to the announcement, “Kansas farms, consumer groups and businesses Catalpa Grove Gardens, Pretty Prairie, Community Mercantile Consumer Coop, Creek Four Mill, Iwig Family Dairy, Janzen Family Farms, Kansas City Food Circle, Kayala Emu Estates, Hesston, Larson Acres, Little Red Hen Bakery, Norm’s Flour, Sierra Club Kansas Chapter, Spring Creek Ranch, and Wichitaw Food Coop signed the letter to Governor Sebelius urging her to veto the bill, along with national groups AllergyKids, Breast Cancer Action, The Cornucopia Institute, Organic Consumers Association, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Center for Media and Democracy, Family Farm Defenders, Food and Water Watch, The Humane Society of the United States, Institute for Responsible Technology, National Family Farm Coalition, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Organic Farming Research Foundation, Sierra Club, and Stonyfield Farm, Inc.”
- KC's View:
- In crafting a comment about this story, I kept trying to figure out if and how I was going to end up contradicting past commentaries. After all, I believe not just in truth in labeling, but also complete transparency…and what else is this disclaimer other than an elaboration on the facts as they currently exist.
That said, I am persuaded by the coalition’s argument that this disclaimer has a political motivation and that it ought not be on milk cartons. To do so would be the same as putting a disclaimer on cigarette packages so that while they are labeled as causing cancer, it also would be noted that on occasion two-pack-a-day smokers live to be 90 without ever getting cancer. (Okay, maybe not exactly the same…but you get my point.)
There’s no reason that retailers can't, at their own discretion, put up signs saying that if people want to get more information about artificial hormones, there are various websites that they can check out. But another label on milk cartons strikes me as silly.