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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CITIZEN PETITION CALLS FOR A BAN ON GENETICALLY ENGINEERED MILK

WASHINGTON, DC, February 22, 2007 --/WORLD-WIRE/--
On February 20, three major activist organizations representing dairy farmers, consumers, and public health experts filed a citizen petition to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This requested immediate disapproval of Monsanto's veterinary drug Posilac on the grounds of "imminent hazards."

The petition also requested the FDA Commissioner to suspend approval of Posilac, and require milk and other dairy products to be labeled "with a cancer warning."

It should further be recognized that the FDA has willfully misled dairy producers and consumers with regard to its requirement for labeling of rBGH milk, to the effect that "No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBGH-treated and non-BST treated cows."

Apart from being willfully false, it is misleading in extreme as the "FDA has determined it lacks the basis for requiring such labeling in its statute." This was admitted in a July 1994 letter from Jerold R. Mande, Executive Director to the FDA Commissioner, to Harold Rudnick, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Posilac is a genetically engineered hormone also known as rBGH. About 25 percent of the nation's cattle are injected with Posilac to increase their milk production.

Since 1994, a wide range of toxic veterinary effects have been belatedly admitted by Monsanto and the FDA, and detailed on Posilac's veterinary label.

Milk containing Posilac is very different from natural milk. It may be contaminated with antibiotics and drugs used to treat injection site reactions and mastitis, and milk fat is increased, particularly levels of fatty acids incriminated in heart disease.

Most importantly, there are increased levels of a natural insulin-like growth factor known as IGF-1, ranging up to 20-fold.

IGF-1 is a small molecule, known as a peptide, and is readily absorbed from the small intestine into the blood. It is responsible for normal growth and development.

However, elevated levels of IGF-1 have been shown, in over 50 publications in leading scientific journals, to increase risks of breast, colon and prostate cancer, in some instances, by up to seven fold. Elevated levels have also been shown to block natural defense mechanisms against early submicroscopic cancers, known as apoptosis.

Based on the veterinary and public health concerns detailed in this Petition, the use and import of rBGH dairy products has been banned by Canada, 20 European nations, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.

It should further be noted that on June 30, 1999, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the United Nations Food Safety Agency representing 101 nations worldwide, ruled unanimously not to endorse or set a safety standard for rBGH milk.

The reckless conduct of the FDA detailed in the petition is consistent with its long track record of brazen denials and cover-up. A January 1986 report, "Human Food Safety and Regulation of Animal Drugs," unanimously approved by the House Committee on Government Operations concluded that the "FDA has consistently disregarded its responsibility. . . has repeatedly put what it perceives are interests of veterinarians and the livestock industry ahead of its legal obligation to protect consumers. . . jeopardizing the health and safety of consumers of meat, milk, and poultry."

This petition was submitted on behalf of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., Chair; the Organic Consumers Association, Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director; and Family Farm Defenders, John Kinsman, President.

CONTACT:
Samuel S. Epstein, M.D.
Chairman, Cancer Prevention Coalition
Professor emeritus Environmental & Occupational Medicine
University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, MC 922
2121 West Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60612
312-996-2297
312-413-9898 fax
epstein@uic.edu
www.preventcancer.com

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