So far, opposition from consumer and retail advocates has won out. Last month, Pennsylvania backed down and withdrew a short-lived ban on the labels. However, the state now requires certification from milk producers to support their rBGH-free claims.
Sara Kaplaniak, the mom from Harrisburg, is pleased with the reversal. â€śI believe that absolutely a company should be able to put on the label that the milk has been produced without anything extra in the way of hormones and additives. It matters.â€ť
Many in the dairy industry agree that consumers have a right to know how their milk is made â€“ and suppliers have a right to tell them. â€śWe believe that our members have the right to include truthful and not misleading information on their labels,â€ť says Armstrong from the IDFA. â€śTheyâ€™re asking to at least know what theyâ€™re drinking so they can make more informed choices. But really what it comes down to is — milk is milk.â€ť
The FDA urges â€“ but does not require â€“ rBST-free labels to include a disclaimer to counter the implication that the milk is safer. Ben & Jerryâ€™s complies with this sentence: â€śThe FDA has said no significant difference has been shown and no test can now distinguish between milk from rBGH treated and untreated cows.â€ť
As more shoppers become aware of rBGH, milk producers and retailers are lining up to give them what they want.
â€śMore and more consumers are looking for rBGH-free products,â€ť sums up Richard North. â€śSo this is a good marketing tool. Itâ€™s not only the right thing, itâ€™s the smart thing for them to do.â€ť
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