Canadian Scientists Uncover Misrepresentation of Key Study of Monsanto's Posilac (rBGH)

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Posilac (rBGH) is Monsanto's controversial, genetically-engineered hormone which is injected into cows in order to force an increased milk production. Earlier this year, evidence was presented by scientists that increased levels of a particular hormone found in milk products from Posilac-injected cows may speed the growth of cancer in humans. (Also see: Because of these and other concerns about rBGH, it's use is not legal in Canada and Europe.

Earlier this month, five (5) scientists from Canada's Health Protection Branch now report that they were pressured to approve rBGH despite discovering that a key pre-approval study was misrepresented in a summary by Monsanto and further misrepresented by the FDA in the journal Science. In 1990, the FDA claimed that a study of rBGH on rats showed that it "is not orally active in rats." The FDA recented admitted to an Associated Press reporter that they did not examine the data of that study. The Canadian scientists examined the data and found that the 20-30% of the rats had primary antibody responses to orally ingested rBGH. This shows that rBGH (which differs from natural BGH) was absorbed. The male rats developed cysts and had prostate gland effects.

The Canadian scientists have pointed out that appropriate long-term studies have not been conducted to address potential toxicity and potential adverse effects such as sterility, infertility, birth defects, cancer, and immunological derangements. Given these findings, it is unlikely that Posilac (rBGH) will be approved within the next decade (if at all) in Canada or in Europe.