Thomas McKenzie
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Thomas McKenzie's Blog.

Thank God and Kroger

For those of you who are unaware, the giant company Monsanto puts a hormone in cows that finds its way into the milk we give our kids. This hormone is bad news for the human body. Our government has done nothing about it. But, finally, another major corporation is stepping up.

Oh, and props to J--. He knows why.

August 6, 2007

Kroger Co.'s announcement last week that it plans to switch to milk free of synthetic hormones is another blow to Monsanto Co., maker of Posilac, the brand-name supplement that's given to boost a cow's milk production.

Monsanto, based in suburban St. Louis, already had been reducing inventory of the hormone as Starbucks Coffee Co. and other retailers rejected it.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as Monsanto insist the hormone -- recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST -- is safe.

Cincinnati-based Kroger, one of the nation's largest retail grocery chains, said consumer preference -- not safety concerns -- prompted the decision.

The retailer began moving toward rBST-free milk this year in Louisiana and Texas stores. By February, Kroger plans to sell only milk certified as free of synthetic hormones at the 2,458 supermarkets and multidepartment stores it operates in 31 states under two dozen local names.

The Center for Food Safety, a Washington-based nonprofit that opposes Monsanto's biotech crops and Posilac, applauded the decision. "It is based on informed opinion and demonstrated consumer preferences: Kroger is being responsive to customers' needs," the group said in a statement.

Monsanto acknowledges its Posilac business has been affected as companies demand milk free of synthetic hormones. In its most recent quarterly financial report, Monsanto said that it will continue this year to reduce bulk-powder inventory of Posilac, and that it believes some requests for rBST-free milk "will limit our future sales."

"With higher milk prices these days, it's disappointing that [Posilac] production technology -- which can add efficiency at the farm gate and have a direct impact on consumer costs -- is being denied," Monsanto spokesman Andrew Burchett said Friday.

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