Genetically Modified Dairy: Dangerous Cancer Risk

Genetically modified dairy puts your health at risk

Do your milk and dairy products say, “rGBH free?”  If not, you are at an increased risk for developing breast, prostate, or colorectal cancers.

rGBH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) – also called rbST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) is a genetically engineered (GE) hormone created by Monsanto, and it’s injected into dairy cows to increase milk production.  Like other GE products, rGBH also has unintended consequences; it increases insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in cows. Contrary to Monsanto’s claims, IGF-1 is not destroyed in the human stomach, according to a British Medical Journal article.[1]  Instead, in humans, IGF-1 increases the risk of breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers, and possibly others. In fact, higher levels of IGF-1 strongly correlate to poor prognostic outcomes in a breast cancer study, as reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.[2]

According to the Cancer Prevention Coalition[3], research not only shows that rBGH creates a significant, sustained increase in IGF-1, which increases the risk of cancer, but also that rBGH differs up to 3% in molecular structure from normal BGH, even though Monsanto says there is no difference between untreated cow’s milk and milk with rBGH.  In fact, Eli Lilly & Co., a former maker of rBGH, reported a ten-fold increase of IGF-1 in rBGH milk.  (At the time, there were several companies making rGBH.)

The article later says, “The undifferentiated pre-natal and infant breast is particularly susceptible to hormonal influences. (Ekbom, et al. 1992) Such imprinting by IGF-1 may increase future breast cancer risks, and may also increase the sensitivity of the breast to subsequent unrelated risks such as mammography and the carcinogenic and estrogen-like effects of pesticide residues in food, particularly in pre-menopausal women. (Elwood, et al, 1993).”

Cancer isn’t the only health risk.  There was an article published by the Los Angeles Times on July 27, 1989, titled “Growth Hormones Would Endanger Milk.”[4] The article was prophetic in saying, “Increased bacterial infections in rBGH cows will require treatment with antibiotics that will pass into milk. This is likely to result in antibiotic-resistant infections in the general population.”  Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections are, indeed, on the rise because of the overuse of antibiotics, which, in this case, pass from the animals’ milk into people.

Not only does the grain fed to cows make them sick, as they are grass-eaters not grain-eaters, requiring antibiotics to treat grain-induced illnesses, but also, according to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association[5], rBGH reduces cows’ healthy body compositions, increases udder infections by 25%, increases lameness by 50%, creates various reproductive problems, and reduces life-span.  Because of the cows’ poor health, more antibiotics are needed to treat the additional maladies associated with rBGH injections, which increase the risk of antibiotic-resistant epidemics for people.  We are all in danger whether we drink milk or not.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) knew about all of these problems yet has done nothing to adequately protect the public. Many other countries have banned rBGH.  It’s outrageous that the FDA does not monitor genetically modified products as it does drug safety testing.  However, there’s a dangerous revolving door of former biotech company employees going to government and affecting policy in a way that suits the former employer.  Current FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Michael R. Taylor[6], is such a person.

According to the article “Michael Taylor: Monsanto’s Man in the Obama Administration,”[7] in the 1980s, after leaving the US Deparment of Agriculture, Taylor an attorney, worked at a private law firm, and represented Monsanto.  He returned to government as Deputy Commissioner for Policy for the FDA from 1991 to 1994.  Many think it’s more than just a coincidence that Taylor helped write the rules to allow rBGH into the American food supply and to exist without warning labels.  Taylor left the government to become Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto Corp. from 1998 until 2001.  Taylor is back under Obama’s administration.

Monsanto spent over $470,000 to help candidates win the mid-term elections.  (See “Monsanto candidates win election.”[8]) Check the article to see if your representative is on the list.

Is it any wonder then that Monsanto has been suing or threatening dairies that label their products as rBGH-free and getting away with it?  The company was able to force dairies to say that there was no difference between untreated milk and milk treated with rBGH, even though studies show that is not true.  (See “Lies and Deception: How the FDA Does Not Protect Your Best Interests.”[9])

Monsanto has been caught bribing officials of various governments.  In Indonesia, Monsanto was caught bribing officials to avoid environmental studies for Bt. Cotton.  (See “Monsanto Bribes in Indonesia.”[10]) In Canada, veterinary scientists were pressured by Monsanto to allow rBGH into the country.  In fact, the company offered between $1 million and $2 million to the scientists.  (See “Labeling Issues, Revolving Doors, rBGH, Bribery and Monsanto.”[11])

Besides bribing foreign government officials, Monsanto (accused of bribery once again) and Fox News are accused of covering up the story of the dangers of rBGH-treated milk. [12]

Protect yourself and your children.  Help ban rBGH.  Contact your senators and congressman.  Also, talk to your grocery store about not carrying rBGH milk.

Related articles:

Genetically Modified Foods: Unintended, Dangerous, Unpredictable Consequences


  1. Smith, George Davey; Gunnell, David; Holly, Jeff. (2000). “Cancer and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1 ),” British Medical Journal BMJ 2000; 321:847-848 7oct00
  2. Creighton, Casa, Lazard, Huang, Tsimelzon, Hilsenbeck, Osborne, Lee. (Sep. 2008). “Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I Activates Gene Transcription Programs Strongly Associated With Poor Breast Cancer Prognosis.” Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 26, No 25 (September 1), 2008: pp. 4078-4085. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2007.13.4429.
  3. Cancer Prevention Coalition. (Jan. 1996). “Statement by the Cancer Prevention Coalition on IGF-1 and Breast and Colon Cancer.”
  4. Los Angeles Times. (July 1989). “Growth Hormones Would Endanger Milk.”
  5. Dohoo, DesCôteaux, Leslie, Shewfelt, Fredeen, Preston, Dowling. (1998). “Report of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Expert Panel on rbST.”
  6. Food and Drug Administration. (2010) “Meet Michael R. Taylor, J.D., Deputy Commissioner for Foods.”
  7. Kenfield, Isabella. (Aug. 2009).  “Michael Taylor: Monsanto’s Man in the Obama Administration.”
  8. Huff, Ethan. (Nov. 2010). “Monsanto candidates win election.”
  9. Smart Publications. “Lies and Deception: How the FDA Does Not Protect Your Best Interests.”
  10. Lorch, Antje. (Sep. 2005). “Monsanto Bribes in Indonesia.”
  11. Source Watch. “Labeling Issues, Revolving Doors, rBGH, Bribery and Monsanto.”,_Revolving_Doors,_rBGH,_Bribery_and_Monsanto
  12. GMWatch. “Fox News kills Monsanto story.”