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Playing with Milk Money: Cue the Green Cows!

July 2, 2008 •  no comments.

 •  Blog, Uncategorized

Articles in the New York Times, stories on CBS and increasing public awareness are bringing a renewed and unwanted focus to Monsanto’s first genetically engineered protein: an artificially and synthetically created growth hormone called rBST that was introduced in 1994 and is now injected into cows to increase their milk production (source: www.nytimes.com) .

As consumer sentiment moves against this growth hormone (and who can blame us, since other countries don’t use it, do we really want American cows hopped up on this chemical, given that it has been linked to cystic ovaries, mastitis, breast, colon and prostate cancer? (source: www.preventcancer.com ), Monsanto is desperately trying to do damage control over the PR nightmare that they now confront.

A sudden shift in consumer sentiment has prompted retailers to remove milk containing rBGH from their stores. Safeway, Publix, Starbucks, Chipotle and other corporations have announced that they are voluntarily removing this chemical from their milk supplies, despite statements from the biotech division of the FDA, which beginning in 1992, under the guidance of then vice president, Dan Quayle, and former Monsanto employee, Michael Taylor, attested to the safety of rBST (also known as rBGH – recombinant bovine growth hormone).

This is not good for Monsanto sales, especially since Monsanto is the only corporation to market rBGH, exclusively under its commercial name as the drug, Posilac.

And you just don’t mess with Monsanto’s Money.

Confronted with a serious revenue loss should this drug continue to lose consumer acceptance, Monsanto put its best GREEN foot forward today with the following announcement.

“Cows hoofprint: Cows supplemented with rBST reduce agriculture’s environmental impact”. (www.sciencedaily.com)

Since we found today’s headline so outrageous that it was actually funny, we wanted to share it with you, as well as (of course), the funding ties behind the study and the institution at which it was conducted, but first, let’s read it again:

“Cows hoofprint: Cows supplemented with rBST reduce agriculture’s environmental impact”.

Now if that isn’t a stretch?! As if shooting up our cows with a drug that is not used in developed countries around the world because of the health implications (cystic ovaries, mastitis, pus, breast, colon and prostate cancers have all been linked to rBGH and its elevated levels of a protein associated with these cancers called IGF-1 (source: www.preventcancer.com ), isn’t it condescending to the American consumer to now suggest that this drug injection is going to cure global warming?!

Can’t you just hear these fellows in the boardroom? “Hey, let’s talk about this green thing so that we can make our Posilac sales more sustainable!”

It’s no wonder that they are focused on global warming. Sales of their top selling chemical, a weed killer called Round Up, were up 58.5% (as announced last week (NYSE: MON)). Round Up (also known as glyphosate) is an industrial chemical used on over 80 percent of global soybean crops (source: www.monsanto.com, www.usda.gov) and it breaks down intro nitrogen….talk about global warming.

Despite the fact that the USDA just waved pesticide reporting requirements (source: www.usda.gov), a procedure that has been in place since the early 1990s, so that farmers and consumers would know the levels of chemicals being applied to food crops, Monsanto obviously felt that they still had a problem.

So what is Monsanto to do with its Milk Money? Why fund a study, of course…and cue the Green Cows!

“Cows hoofprint: Cows supplemented with rBST reduce agriculture’s environmental impact”: Cornell University.

Joining Judith Capper, the Cornell University student leading the Hoofprint research, was Monsanto’s very own Roger A. Cady (source: www.physorg.com). Not surprisingly, Monsanto has been funding Cornell’s growth hormone research and awarding them patents since 1992 just prior to the introduction of rBGH (source: www.cornell.edu) .

I can’t help but think of the theme song from Trump’s show, the Apprentice….”Money, money, money, Mo-ney!”

Seriously, these shareholders need to get out of the boardroom and away from their power point presentations and come up for a breath of their globally warmed air. Don’t they have grandchildren?