7.14.2011

Two things

Thing #1:

I bought milk at Costco yesterday and checked the box to be sure it came from "cows not treated with rBST*" (a bovine growth hormone to increase milk production). And, as I always am, I was irked afresh at the message following the "*". ("No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non rBST-treated cows.")

Will you please tell me where else in the world a company who is trying to promote their own product is legally obligated to ALSO provide advertising for their competitors?

Does the Mexican Coke made with sugar have to slap a label on their bottles that says, "Not that there's anything wrong with corn syrup! Corn syrup is awesome! You could buy that too and I'm sure you'd love it!"

Do the yogurts who use beet juice as a coloring agent have to backpedal and say, "But I'm sure Red #40 is also great!"

Do the soy sauces and soups made without MSG have to qualify their "No MSG" label with "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"

Does creamy peanut butter have a label that says, "Not that we're saying crunchy is bad! Just because we chose to be creamy that doesn't mean there's a problem with crunchy!"

No. No they don't. But for some reason it's just really, really important to some people (coughMonsanto-who-created-rBST-and-then-sued-the-first-dairy-who-dared-to-put-a-label-on-their-milk-stating-that-they-were-not-using-it) that no one be allowed to get the idea that it might be more desirable to have less chemicals involved in the creation of your food. And somehow it's the dairy farms who don't want to use chemicals who are responsible for sending out that message. The FDA doesn't require the extra disclaimer but does recommend it (see above regarding the part where Monsanto will sue you if you don't provide them with free advertising).



Yes, it's true that there may be no significant difference when you test the milk. But there is a significant difference in the cows that are injected with the synthetic hormone--they experience much higher rates of lameness and mastitis (udder infections, as in pus in the udder where your milk also is). Because farmers were having to cull so many of their sick cows (as per Monsanto's recommendation), some decided that the production gains weren't worth it and just produced the same amount of milk minus the expensive drugs and pus and killin's.

Anyway. That disclaimer bugs me. For all those reasons. That was Thing #1.

Thing #2:

I leave for the Shakespeare Festival tomorrow (yay!) but was thrilled to learn about a little something that will be waiting for me when I get back.



Rufus Sewell (also known as your boyfriend and mine) is turning up on Masterpiece Mystery this Sunday in Zen, a new three-part miniseries about an Italian police detective. I am guessing you might want to make some time for this.


11 comments:

Camille said... [reply]

I can't ever decide if he has a crazy eye or not...

Kara said... [reply]

First of all, so right about the hormone disclaimer.
Secondly, I'm absolutely jealous of your visit to the Festival. I now live in Illinois and I miss it so much, particularly Brian Vaughn. It might be good that I'm not there because I'd probably embarass myself, behaving towards him as fourteen-year-olds tend to behave towards Justin Bieber.

Now I need to go watch "Cold Comfort Farm" since you put up a picture of Rufus.

Jenny said... [reply]

OH HOLY CRAP! How did you not tell me about Seth before today? I need to schedule that into my life!

goddessdivine said... [reply]

Oh my gosh--I'm going to the Festival on Saturday! Maybe I'll see you(?) We're seeing "Noises Off" in the afternoon and "Midsummer Night's Dream" in the evening. Which one(s) are you seeing?

I don't even have sound on my computer right now (used the speakers somewhere else and still too lazy to bring them back up) and that little Zen piece looks intriguing. I may have to set the DVR.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Goddess, we're seeing Midsummer Night's Dream that night too, so I'll totally see you there! Awesome.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Okay. Science girl note. . .

The FDA doesn't want people thinking that somehow the other kind of milk is killing people. It is like the herbal bottles that have to say that the FDA has not validated their claims. It might seem like OVER regulation, but the alternative is to find rat parts in the canned beef stew. I'm just saying.

You, of course, are free to buy any kind of milk you wish. :)

C. said... [reply]

Amen. And amen.

Nemesis said... [reply]

STM, I would have to rebut here because the dairy farmers aren't making any claims. It doesn't seem any different from foods that are labeled as not containing preservatives. No one is saying that preservatives kill people, or that artificial colors kill people, or that msg kills people. They are simply saying that, in case it's something you care about, they dont use said ingredient. It's not the FDA who mandates this disclaimer but rather, through their lawyers, the agricultural drug company. Which seems to be to be an example of the big rich guy calling all the shots.

Emily said... [reply]

Also, the FDA sucks.

Almost all of the soups and soy sauces (etc) that say "No MSG" actually still do, in fact, use MSG.

MSG is "free glutamate" that is 99% pure. So, you can take autolyzed yeast extract and add it to foods and it is the same as MSG but less than 99% pure, so you get the msg effect but you don't have to label it. AND, lots of companies will then label their product as containing no MSG.

My husband is super allergic to MSG, so we read ingredient lists, and we buy organic when we can, and I cook at home. He can eat almost no processed foods, and there are only 3-4 restaurants that are safe.

I think these labeling problems are because there's practically a revolving door between industry and the FDA. The FDA does NOT protect the interests of anyone except big businesses. If you think the rBST issue is stupid, you should hear how they respond to raw milk.

Sorry for the little rant here. The MSG labeling problem is kind of a big deal to us.

Lady Susan said... [reply]

Just wanted to say that I think about this post every time I look at my milk now. Thanks. ;)

stupidramblings said... [reply]

Totally read your blog for the first time in six months. Still good. Hmm.

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