It goes by many different names: recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), artificial growth hormone, Posilac. But its main purpose is to induce cows to produce more milk. And it does. Unfortunately it harms the cow and the insulin-like growth factor IGF-1 in it finds its way into the milk – and our table.
It is a compound that is banned in most developed countries but not in the US. It is even considered unacceptable by the Codex Alimentarius, the international standard list of approved food additives.
Its manufacturers claim there is not enough evidence to show that rBGH is harmful to humans. And if the cow injected with rBGH gets mastitis, who cares?
There have been recent studies, however, that point to a link between IGF-1 and tumor formation. In one 2009 review, the authors wrote:
“Insulin and Insulin-like Growth Factors (IGFs) systems play a key role in cellular metabolism, differentiation, proliferation, transformation and apoptosis, during normal and malignant growth. Moreover, these molecules seem essential in promoting tumor vascularization.”
Posilac was the brainchild of the agricultural giant Montsanto. It now belongs to the pharma company Eli Lilly. The company is known for its best-selling and sometimes controversial products Prozac (anti-depressant), Thimerosal (vaccine preservative) and Methadone (narcotic drugs treatment. The company is also the manufacturer of the anti-cancer chemotherapy drug Gemzar and the breast cancer preventive drug Evista. In this context, Eli Lilly has the “perfect cancer profit cycle” by manufacturing Posilac which may cause breast cancer and by selling drugs that should prevent or treat breast cancer. In other words, the company is milking cancer to the very last drop. It is a win-win situation for Eli Lilly and the consumers are the ultimate losers.
You can help BCA in trying to stop Eli Lilly from Milking Cancer by sending an email message to Eli Lilly at the www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org
But what is even concerning is the increasing use of rBGH in developing countries in the guise of augmenting food production. Posilac is going global – and so is cancer.
The campaign is called Stop Milking Cancer and its aim is to put pressure on Eli Lilly to stop the manufacture of rBGH. Behind the campaign in none other than the Breast Cancer Action Group (BCA), the watchdog group that coined the term “pinkwashers” – companies that claim to care about breast cancer but make or sell products that are linked to the disease. They launched the www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org site to identify pinkwashers.
Here is what the campaign has to say:
Eli Lilly is now the sole manufacturer of rBGH — the artificial growth hormone given to dairy cows that increases people’s risk of cancer. Eli Lilly also manufactures breast cancer treatment medications and a pill that “reduces the risk” of breast cancer. Eli Lilly is milking cancer. Tell them to stop making rBGH.
You can help BCA in trying to stop Eli Lilly from Milking Cancer by sending an email message to Eli Lilly at the www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org site.