rBGH (Posilac) -- Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer
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Recent research is beginning to confirm that dairy foods produced with Monsanto's
genetically-engineered Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) may speed the growth of human
breast and prostate cancers. Because of the extreme dangers from regular ingestion
of such dairy foods, the Cancer Prevention Coaltion and a research scientist issued a
press release earlier this year
detailing the risks. The dangers should have been obvious many years ago
when much of this information was presented to Monsanto. Instead, they chose to
ignore it and force their rBGH-dairy on the general population -- unlabelled.
Dairy products from cows injected with Monsanto's rBGH have three frightening differences:
- Large Increases in the Hormone IGF-1
rBGH-dairy induces a 70% to 1000% increase in the levels of the hormone, IGF-1. IGF-1 in dairy
foods is not destroyed by digestion because it is protected by casein and by dairy's
buffering effect. At least some of this IGF-1 is absorbed into the body. IGF-1 stimulates the
proliferation of cancer cells. Two recent studies showed that increased levels of
IGF-1 in humans predict increased rates in breast cancer and prostate cancer.
"A recent article (Cancer Research, 55:2463-2469, June 1995) from Renato
Baserga's laboratory in Philadelphia has shown clearly that IGF-1 is
required for the establishment and maintenance of tumors. The mechanism
for this is that IGF-1 protects the cells from apoptosis (programmed cell
death). IGF accelerates tumor growth and appears to affect the
aggressiveness of tumors. As the IGF-1 level is decreased, cell death can
take place. We are talking about IGF-1 levels of 10 nanogram per m1,
i.e., 0.00001 milligram per ml."
"My concern is that increases in such minute levels could readily enter
the blood stream of individuals drinking milk from BST [rBGH] treated cows. As
an individual ages, indolent tumor cells do appear in various organs
(breast, ovary, prostate, etc..) which grow slowly with the result that
clinical cancer is not manifested until old age, or, in many cases, after
the individual would have died of other causes. Stimulation of these
cells by elevated levels of IGF-1 would result in clinical cancer in a
decade or two or even less. Furthermore, these levels of IGF-1 could
stimulate the progression and aggressiveness of childhood leukemias to a
point that chemotherapy could not be effective, much less curative."
"The widespread consumption of BST [rBGH] supplemented milk is therefore an
experiment on an unsuspecting population that could have horrendous
consequences and overwhelm the health care system. The experiment would
take one to three decades when it would be difficult to dismantle a
well-entrenched BST [rBGH] industry, and still have one to three decades' worth
of individuals in the pipeline. I can conceive of no animal experiments
to test this and to provide hard data to predict the magnitude and time
frame for this effect. The risk to benefit ratio of this experiment is
clearly not in favor of the consumer."
[George L. Tritsch, Cancer Research Scientist (Retired), August 7, 1995]
Despite the overwhelming danger for future generations, Monsanto has pushed
ahead and forced rBGH-dairy on the unsuspecting public. Sometimes, they put out
scientifically inaccurate information to allay fears. Some examples may include:
- "There is more IGF-1 in saliva." But it is destroyed by digestion because it
is not protected as is IGF-1 in dairy foods.
- "A significant amount of IGF-1 is not absorbed." As noted in the quote above, it
only takes an extremely small level to cause problems.
- "There is more IGF-1 in breast milk." Autopsy studies have shown that 39% of women
between 40 and 50 have clinically insignificant, undetectable breast cancer (while
only ~1% are diagnosed with cancer). It normally takes so many decades for cancer
to grow, that most (but not all) people die long before it would be detected.
rBGH-dairy would be expected to speed the growth of these undetectable cancers so that
within a decade or two we will likely see huge increases in detectable cancers
in persons over 40 years old. Infants generally do not yet have small cancers, so IGF-1
will cause cancer cell proliferation.
- "IGF-1 levels from rBGH-dairy would only increase by 1%." This refers to bound IGF-1
and not the more potent, free-form IGF-1.
- "IGF-1 is destroyed by pasteurization". Wrong. Properly-conducted studies show an increase
- "IGF-1 levels from rBGH-dairy is commonly found in cows in certain lactation periods."
Milk from cows is pooled in tanker trucks. Each individual cow has milk with different
IGF-1 levels, but since they are mixed in tanker trucks and at the factory, the average
intake of IGF-1 by consumers is somewhat stable. With rBGH-dairy, these averages increase
by a frightening 70% to 1000%.
- rBGH-Dairy Leads to Increased Antibiotic Residues In Dairy
Cows that are injected with the genetically-engineered hormone rBGH are prone to sickness
such as infections of the udder (mastitis). This leads to an increase in pus in the milk as
well as antibiotic residues. While milk is checked for a few different antibiotics, the
Government Accounting Office (GAO) has reported that milk with significant levels of antibiotics
does get through to the consumer largely because the milk is checked for only a limited
number of antibiotics. This will invariably lead to an increase in the number of antibiotic
resistent diseases in children and adults.
- rBGH is Not Destroyed by Pasteurization and Ends Up in Dairy Foods
Monsanto's genetically-engineered rBGH is different than normal BGH found in dairy foods.
"Earlier this month, five (5) scientists from Canada's Health Protection Branch now report that
they were pressured to approve rBGH despite discovering that a key pre-approval study was
misrepresented in a summary by Monsanto and further misrepresented by the FDA in the
journal Science. In 1990, the FDA claimed that a study of rBGH on rats showed that it "is not
orally active in rats." The FDA recented admitted to an Associated Press reporter that they did
not examine the data of that study. The Canadian scientists examined the data and found that
the 20-30% of the rats had primary antibody responses to orally ingested rBGH. This shows
that rBGH (which differs from natural BGH) was absorbed. The male rats developed cysts and
had prostate gland effects."
What is particularly reprehensible is that Monsanto has reportedly threatended companies
with lawsuits if they label their milk as being "rBGH-free"! This means that children
at school have no way to tell if they milk was produced by the use of rBGH. They appear to be
trying to prevent people from making up their own minds about what to ingest! Currently, most
people can avoid rBGH-dairy by purchasing certified organic milk and other dairy products at
the local health food store. While it may be slightly more expensive, it will likely save money
on medical bills in the long run.
Other resources for rBGH information on the Internet: