It was reported today that Monsanto, based right here in St. Louis, is asking federal authorities to “crack down” on dairies that label their products free of recumbent bovine growth hormone – rBST – claming that the labels are misleading.
It’s true that food companies are always happily slapping labels on products with the sole intent to mislead consumers. It’s all a kind of sleight-of-hand trick. Take those packages of frozen fish sticks and apple pie that declare “0g trans fats” but still contain double the amount of saturated fat in a single serving than does a whole rib-eye steak. Food companies are now required by the FDA to list the amount of trans-fats per serving as “zero” if it contains less than 0.5 grams trans fat.
But that doesn’t mean the product doesn’t contain trans – which is what partially hydrogenated anything is composed of – it means they’ve adjusted the serving size listed to be smaller.
Another example is chicken – those packages in the grocery store that say “100 % Hormone Free” are meaningless. The use of growth hormones in chicken production has been banned in the U.S since 1979.
Monsanto is not out to protect the health and well-being of any living thing, which is usually the case when groups complain about “label lying” – they simply have their own huge corporate interests at stake.
It’s not that I believe that the hormone in question, Posilac, is dangerous or toxic. In fact, study after study has shown that the hormone is undetectable in cow’s milk and does not seem to be passed on to humans.
It’s this: I go out of my way to buy food for my family that isn’t bio-engineered, processed, fumigated or f—-ed with, and I spend extra dollars for the privilege. I don’t need the suits at a mega-conglomerate shoving their chemicals down my throat or telling me how to read a food label.
And with that, I’m off to Whole Foods to read some labels.
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