rBST= Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin
Also known as…
rBGH= Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone
Both rBST and rBGH are terms used to describe a synthetic growth hormone which increases milk production in dairy cows.
The USA is the lone remaining country in the developed world which still permits the sale and use of rBST. A number of well-documented consequences of its use (ranging from increases in clinical mastitis to infertility in dairy cows exposed to the hormones) has led a host of nations to ban its use: Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and all 27 member countries of the European community.
IN 2012, THE 6TH CIRCUIT COURT RULED THAT IT’S LEGAL FOR MILK PRODUCERS TO LABEL THEIR MILK AS “rBST FREE”. Furthermore they said Ohio’s ban on dairy processors’ hormone-free claims violated their 1st amendment rights and was “more extensive then necessary to serve the state’s interest in preventing consumer deception”. The court also cited 3 reasons milk produced by rBST-treated cows is different: increased levels of IGF-1 hormone; period during each location with lower nutritional quality in milk; and increased somatic cell counts (i.e more pus in the milk).