FDA Urged to Ban Genetically Engineered Milk
Dr.Epstein, who is an emeritus professor with the School of Public Health in the University of Illinois, says Posilac poses major public health hazards. The UN moved on the issue a decade ago. The United Nations Food Safety Agency, representing 101 nations worldwide, unanimously ruled in 1999 not to endorse or set a safety standard for rBGH milk. Effectively, this has resulted in an international ban on U.S. milk, approximately 20 percent of which is rBGH.
But, Epstein complains, in the US, despite adequate documented evidence, the authorities are not acting. Dr. Epstein is an internationally recognized authority on avoidable causes of cancer, particularly unknowing exposures to industrial carcinogens in air, water, the workplace, and consumer products--food, cosmetics and toiletries, and household products including pesticides--besides carcinogenic prescription drugs.
Back in 2007, he and four other experts had moved the FDA on rBGH. In the absence of a response from the agency, Epstein re-presented the petition to Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner of the FDA on Jan.12.
Documented evidence against rBGH shows - reduction in short-chain fatty acid and increase in long-chain fatty acid levels; increase in levels of a thyroid hormone enzyme; contamination with unapproved drugs for treating mastitis; and frequency of pus cells due to mastitis.
The petition wants the FDA to - Suspend the approval of rBGH, and require milk and other dairy products produced with its use to be labeled with a warning such as, "Produced with the use of rBGH, and contains elevated levels of insulin-like growth factor, IGF-1, which poses major risks of breast, prostate, and colon cancers."
Evidence of these toxic effects was first detailed in confidential Monsanto reports, based on records of secret nationwide rBGH veterinary trials, submitted to the FDA prior to October 1989 when they were leaked to one of the petitioners, Dr. Epstein. He then made these reports available to Congressman John Conyers, Chairman of the House Committee on Government Operations. On May 8, 1990, Congressman Conyers issued the following statement, "I find it reprehensible that Monsanto and the FDA have chosen to suppress and manipulate animal health test data." Details of these toxic effects were subsequently admitted by Monsanto, and by the FDA, and were disclosed on the drug's veterinary label (Posilac) in November, 1993. These toxic effects include injection site lesions, a wide range of other toxic effects, and an increased incidence of mastitis requiring the use and antibiotics, with resulting contamination of milk.
Epstein charges that the FDA continues to mislead dairy producers and consumers with regard to its requirement for labeling of rBGH milk, with its deliberately false claim that "No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST treated cows."
In fact, rBGH milk continues to pose major cancer and other risks to the entire U.S. population, the petition stresses.