Look for the words "no artificial hormones or antibiotics used" on your milk carton the next time you shop.
In 1993, the FDA approved the use of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), otherwise known as bovine somatotropin (rbST), in cows. Farmers inject this synthetic hormone into their animals to increase their milk production. This practice has been banned in Europe, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
According to the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, cows injected with rBGH tend to have a higher instance of udder infections called mastitis. As a result they are treated more often with antibiotics. This increase in drug use can contribute to the growth of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, a major public health concern.
Since milk from treated cows is not marked as such, dairy farmers who do not use rBGH voluntarily label their products with such wording as "no artificial hormones or antibiotics used."
If in doubt, buy certified organic milk, which guarantees no hormones or drugs were used. It also contains a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids, among other nutrients, too.
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