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



2 Responses to “Better, safer: Wal-Mart brand milk will be rBST-free”

  1. I recently bought Great Value milk and am very upset. I’m not sure who to contact regarding this issue. I have a three year old daughter that drinks milk quite often. I, however, do not drink milk as often. I bought this gallon of milk and did not realize that it was spoiled before I gave it to my daughter. She became very sick. I didn’t realize what it was from until I went to give her milk again and I smelled it. The entire gallon ended up getting thrown out. I’m not sure if the expiration date could have been misprinted? I’m very upset and I would like to know that this will not be the case in the future.

  2. annierichardson Says:

    Hi Christy,

    I can understand why you are upset. The expiration could have been ok but if for some reason the milk was left unrefrigerated at the store for any length of time it could have spoiled. I have seen this happen at my local grocery. A pallet of dairy was sitting out on the floor, waiting to be put on the shelf. I was in the store for over an hour and it didn’t get put in the coolers. I’ve also brought milk home only to do the smell test and realize it was bad. Bottom line, you can’t always rely on the expiration date. The best thing to do is exactly what you did – the smell test. If it is bad, take it back to te store for a refund and let them know you are not happy. If you want to go one step further, you can call or write to the dairy and let them know as well. And lastly because your daughter became ill from this, I would report it to your local health department.

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