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1-Proteins: Monsanto likely phasing out controversial bovine growthhormone

-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Monsanto Likely Phasing Out Controversial Bovine Growth Hormone
SOURCE: Milkweed, USA / posted at Organic Consumers, USA
DATE:   June 2004

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Monsanto Likely Phasing Out Controversial Bovine Growth Hormone
Are Rats Jumping Off Posilac Ship?

While Monsanto remains quiet about the fate of its genetically engineered
cow hormone, Posilac, signs are that more rats are jumping off the ship.

In late January 2004, Monsanto announced a 50% reduction in sales of
Posilac to regular customers. That followed a December 19, 2003
announcement of a 15% cutback.

The Milkweed reported of a Posilac sales force meeting in March, at which
numerous sales persons were terminated by Monsanto. Other Posilac sales
personnel are rumored to be aggressively seeking their next employment

In early May, Brian Robert Lowry, Monsanto's dairy mouthpiece, departed
dairy responsibilities at the company. Lowry had issued a typographical
error-ridden media statement, on April 28, claiming that the March 29,
2004 FDA warning letter to Mosanto's Austrian-based Posilac supplier was
merely business as usual. That warning letter blistered the Austrian
manufacturer for many bad manufacturing practices and failed quality
control oversight. The latest "rat" to jump Monsanto's ship is the "Milk
is Milk" website maintained by the Hudson Institute, a bunch of corporate
yahoos. "Milk is Milk" was hatched in recent years to attack critics of
milk from Posilac-injected dairy cows. The Hudson Institute uses Dennis
Avery and his son Alex as a "hit squad" attacking persons opposing food
biotechnology. Monsanto has been both a member and a major contributor to
the Hudson Institute. Since Monsanto is the only corporation selling
recombinant bovine growth hormone (Posilac), it's presumed Monsanto has
been the source of money for the "milk is milk" website. No More.

Perhaps the single biggest measure of Monsanto's future intentions for
Posilac would be activity around and employment in Monsanto's U.S. plant
near Augusta, Georgia, which was built to produce Posilac. But zero
production of the drug for commercial sale is currently taking place in

The Milkweed contends that Monsanto is engaged in conduct that looks like
intentionally sinking the ship. Is the company trying to finesse its way
around potential liabilities for either human or animal health?  Posilac
was the first major biotech food production product approved by the
Federal Food and Drug Administration. FDA's approval for recombinant
bovine growth hormone remains as the most controversial issue in the
agency's history. Posilac was views as a "must succeed" deal, because so
much investment in food biotechnology was riding on that cow drug's
gaining FDA approval. In the analysis of The Milkweed, FDA's review of
human and animal safety for Posilac were criminally flawed.

So 10 years after Posilac was approved for commercial sale, sales are
scaled back ... and the rats are jumping ship. Dairy farmers must ask
themselves if, over the past 10 years, they and their cows have fared
better or worse during the "Posilac decade."


European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
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D - 38116 Braunschweig

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