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Environmental Studies

rBGH and the mis(Use) of Science

Introduction and Theory
What is rBGH?
Actors Motivations

The Portrayal of Human Health Science

The Portrayal of Animal Health Science

Where Are Our Values?
The Future of the Debate
References & Links

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rBGH and the (mis)Use of Science

Conclusion: Where are we, and where are we going?

The controversy shows no signs of moving toward the question of values. Instead, the science will continue to be debated, as will the portrayal of science. At the moment, Monsanto and the citizen organizations are stuck in the legal arena over issues of labeling. In 2007, Monsanto succeeded in convincing the state of Pennsylvania to ban the ‘rBGH-free’ label on milk products. In other states, the citizen organizations have been successful in ensuring that the rBGH-free label remains an option for producers who choose that route. Monsanto has argued that labeling products as rBGH-free unfairly discourages consumers from buying their product, which they would incorrectly view as unnatural. There is no basis for labeling on human health grounds, Monsanto argues, because the chemical composition of the milk has been shown scientifically to be nearly identical (Monsanto, Statement on Oakhurst). Therefore, the debate is once again about the authority of science, and how that science should be portrayed. Monsanto and rBGH supporters continue to argue that anti-rBGH groups are portraying science inaccurately, and citizen organizations continue to debate the science by claiming the FDA decision was fraudulent. Hopefully, one day, we will have a discussion of our values and then establish effective scientific inquiry to complement the debate.

Watch the video to the right to see the accusations commonly thrown at citizen organizations by rBGH supporters

The Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility explain what they believe to be a fraudulent FDA decision in Video 6.

Video 5: From FeedStuffs FoodLink claiming that rBGH-free labels are misleading and hurt producers and consumers.

Video 6: Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility explaining what they believe to be the FDA's corrupt decision to approve rBGH.

Last updated:  5/9/2008


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