Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), otherwise known as recombinant bovine somatotropin hormone (rBSH), is a synthetically produced hormone used in cows. This has been produced using recombinant gene technology and it is used by cattle farmers primarily to increase milk production. Although the hormones are known to increase milk production by as much as 25%, the use of this hormone has been banned in other parts of the world such as Canada and the EU. Researches have repeatedly shown rBGH dangers associated with its use both in cows and in humans as well. The questions surrounding the extent of rBGH dangers and the cover-ups regarding researches dwelling on this topic continue to create controversy regarding its continuous use in the US.
Farmers Say Hormones In Milk Dangerous To Bessie – And You
Although rBGH is now being used in the US in many farms, there is still a great number of those who continue to resist the uses of these hormones. One reason is because the use of rBGH in cows proves to be dangerous for the cattle themselves. While it is true that rBGH increases milk production by pushing the cow’s system to produce more, this effect lasts for a number of years after which milk production becomes significantly decreased. A high number of deformed calves from rBGH –treated cows were also noted.
More importantly, rBGH injections caused an increase in the incidence of mastitis in cows. Mastitis is a condition wherein cows develop a form of bacterial infection around their udders leading to pus formation. The treatment involves antibiotic injections in the area which may extremely painful for the cow. For humans, the milk consumed and used for other products end up contaminated with pus, blood and antibiotics all from rBGH-treated cow’s milk.
The use of rBGH also leads to hormones in milk and milk products as well. Synthetic hormones in milk lead to increased levels of a growth factor known as insulin-dependent growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in both milk and milk products as well.
How Mutant Milk Promotes rBGH Cancer
Growth factors are polypeptides found in cells of living things which stimulate a cell to grow or for cells to increase in number. One such growth factor is the insulin-dependent growth factor 1 (IGF-1). In human development, IGF-1 is needed in order to assure the continuous growth and development of certain organs and tissues in the human body. However, high levels of this growth factor have also been implicated in the formation of cancers such as breast and prostatic cancer. In rBGH-treated cows, a significant increase in IGF-1 levels have been noted which may ultimately lead to the formation of rBGH-related cancers.
As of recent, an increase in the onset of early puberty has also been noted which may be related to growth hormones in milk. The problem with early puberty is that this too is associated with breast cancer development, which may again be a form of rBGH-related cancer.
There is, understandably, a need for farmers to produce more in order to earn more. But this need should also be met with responsibility as farmers should always be aware of the effects related to the use of these different types of technology.