The Stop Milking Cancer Campaign: rBGH Revisited
Milk. That is the first thing that our kids drink in the morning and the last thing they drink at night. But how can we be sure that this life-giving drink is safe and untainted?
As you may recall, BOL featured several articles a couple of years back on rBGH, short for recombinant bovine growth hormone, aka recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) found in American milk and milk products.
There is some good news and bad news about rBGH.
The Bad News
- Evidence is piling up that the growth factor IGF-1 found in rBGH can cause cancer.
- rBGH (marketed as Posilac) which is banned in most developed countries, is still used in the US and is also now being aggressively marketed in developing countries.
The Good News
- More and more food companies in the US are refusing to use or sell milk with rBGH, including Starbucks, Wal Mart, and Ben & Jerry’s.
- The advocacy group Breast Cancer Action Group (BCA) is putting pressure on Eli Lilly, mother company of Elanco Animal Health which owns and produces Posilac.
I had the privilege of being part of the blogger press conference of BCA for the launch of their campaign Stop Milking Cancer and I am sharing with BOL readers what I have learned at this press conference.
Indeed, the campaign is aptly named because Eli Lilly seems to be really “milking cancer” to the fullest. First of all, it produces and sells rBGH to dairy farms to increase milk production, despite the compound’s link to breast cancer development. Then it produces the anti-osteoporosis drug Evista which supposedly also prevents breast cancer. Finally, it also makes chemotherapy drug Gemzar to treat breast cancer. It seems that the company truly has all aspects of breast cancer covered in what BCA calls a “perfect cancer profit cycle.”
How You Can Help
Now in its second year, STOP MILKING CANCER has the target this year of collecting 6,220 signatures, one signature for every day that rBGH has been on the market. Here is what the campaign has to say:
Eli Lilly is now the sole manufacturer of rBGH — the artificial growth hormone given to dairy cows that increases people’s risk of cancer. Eli Lilly also manufactures breast cancer treatment medications and a pill that “reduces the risk” of breast cancer. Eli Lilly is milking cancer. Tell them to stop making rBGH.
About the Breast Cancer Action (BCA) Group
BCA is the watchdog that cracks down on pinkwashers, companies that claim to care about breast cancer but make or sell products that are linked to the disease. They launched the site www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org where they expose these companies and inform consumers. BCA claims it does not received any donations from companies who sell or deal with products and services that can cause cancer.