Better, safer: Wal-Mart brand milk will be rBST-free
March 22, 2008
At a time when hormone-free milk labeling is under assault by Monsanto and its allies, Wal-Mart has taken a stand in favor of its consumers. All Great Value-brand milk sold at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club will be free of rBST bovine somatotropin, a growth hormone, the company said this week.
“As many of you know, there is a fair amount of controversy on this topic, but … Wal-Mart’s customers are telling us that they are very concerned so we listened, and we’ve made a pretty big change,” Rand Waddoups wrote in Check Out, a blog by Wal-Mart buyers.
Many consumers see the hormone-free label as a window into the operations at farms. Hormones keep cows producing milk at volumes and for durations that are unnatural, and their use often goes hand-in-hand with other “industrial” farming techniques, like keeping large herds in close proximity and whole-herd treatment with antibiotics and pesticides.
Monsanto, which manufactures the artificial growth hormone, has been going state-to-state, urging local agriculture departments to outlaw the use of labels like “rBST-free” on milk. Wal-Mart, which has proved that it knows well what American consumers want, has voted. Wal-Mart made no statement about the Monsanto initiative in its announcement about going hormone-free.
See also: Top rBST & rBGH free milk producers
Watch: You and your milk