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.
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.