GENET archive


Food: Straus Organic Creamery takes bold step to prevent GMO contamination

                                  PART 1

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SOURCE: Straus Family Creamery, USA

AUTHOR: Press Release


DATE:   06.03.2007

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Being First in the U.S. to Participate in a Verification Program Gives Assurance of Organic Integrity in All Straus Family Creamery Products

Marshall, CA, March 6, 2007 – Straus Family Creamery, the first certified organic dairy and creamery west of the Mississippi River, will be the first certified organic manufacturer in the United States to verify that all of Straus’ products are not contaminated by previously undetected genetically modified organisms (GMO).?“Certified organic crops are at risk of contamination by genetically modified crops,” said Albert Straus, President of Straus Family Creamery. “We have rejected organic feeds for our animals because of GMO contamination. We need better controls over our feeds and ingredients, so we have established this relationship with The Non-GMO Project to ensure that all of our products are verified as non-GMO.”

GMO crop contamination was ruled a violation of federal law in a case filed against the USDA, because it caused economic harm to both conventional and organic farmers.  California Assemblyman Jared Huffman has introduced legislation that would make companies developing genetically engineered crops liable for damages when they contaminate other fields.

“This program will function as an additional quality-assurance program for our customers. We’ll use The Project’s verification and compliance seal on our product labels to help educate our customers,” Straus added.  “People want to avoid GMOs and know that GMOs are excluded from organic foods. We are making sure that our products meet this expectation fully. The integrity of the organic movement cannot be damaged by the presence of GMOs.”

The Straus dairy farm began in 1941 along the beautiful shores of Tomales Bay and converted to organic in 1993, becoming the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi River. Albert launched Straus Family Creamery in 1994, to bottle organic milk and make organic butter, yogurt and ice cream under the family name. The Straus dairy farm and creamery are both dedicated to farmland protection and environmental stewardship. For more information about Straus Family Creamery, visit

The Non-GMO Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to non-GMO foods & supplements. Its mission is to provide consumers with the ability to purchase non-GMO products produced in compliance with a rigorous Non-GMO Project Standard. For more information about The Non-GMO Project, visit


Contact: Nils-Michael Langenborg

(415) 663-5464 ext.101


                                  PART 2

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SOURCE: The San Diego Union-Tribune

AUTHOR: The Associated Press, by Garance Burke


DATE:   07.03.2007

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FRESNO – Consumer groups are applauding a major dairy cooperative’s decision to dissuade its farmers from using a synthetic hormone to coax more milk from cows, a move insiders say will have a ripple effect across the dairy industry.

Members of California Dairies Co., who generate 10 percent of the milk produced in the nation, will have to stop injecting their herds with the genetically engineered hormone, rBST, by Aug. 1. If they don’t, they’ll have to pay a premium for the co-op to truck their milk to alternative markets.

RBST, or recombinant bovine somatotropin, is already banned in Canada and Europe, mostly overs concerns that it makes cows more prone to illness.

On Jan. 23, the co-op’s board of directors told its 650 members they would stop accepting milk from herds treated with the growth hormone and from cloned cows.

“We’re merely responding to our customers’ demands and we’ve gotten very strong support,” said Richard Cotta, the group’s CEO and president.

The Food and Drug Administration approved rBST to boost production in dairy cows in 1993, making rBST one the first major biotechnology-related products to enter the national food supply.

Consumer organizations that question the hormone’s safety lauded the co-op’s new policy, which they said would make healthy dairy products widely available. The co-op owns Challenge Dairy Products, Inc. and sells milk to Safeway Inc. and Kraft Foods Inc.

“We’re very grateful that CDI is taking this very significant step,” said Rick North, a project director at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, which organizes national campaigns advocating for rBST-free products. “If dairy farmers want to preserve their business and not lose customers, they will be in the front of this trend.”

St. Louis-based Monsanto Co., which markets the hormone under the brand name Posilac, stands to lose from the co-op’s decision. Other major U.S. producers such as Oregon’s Tillamook County Creamery Association also have forbidden its use.

“It’s a concern when U.S. farmers are denied access to approved technologies that are going to help them make money,” said Andrew Burchett, a Monsanto spokesman. “It’s also a concern that milk that is no different is being disparaged by deceptive marketing.”

Nationally, consumer groups say about 15 to 20 percent of dairy cows are injected with rBST. The hormone is still applied regularly in California, the nation’s No. 1 dairy state, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation.

The new policy won’t impact California’s milk supply long term, because dairy farmers can also boost their herd’s output by increasing feed rations or the number of milkings, said Mike Marsh, CEO of Western United Dairymen.

But the co-op’s smaller members who are struggling to get a few more gallons of milk from their least productive cows could take a hit, he said.

                                  PART 3

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SOURCE: Monsanto, USA



DATE:   01.03.2007

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Focus on POSILAC - POSILAC® Bovine Somatotropin

POSILAC is a proven tool for increasing dairy cow milk production and profitability. Supplementing dairy cows with bovine somatotropin safely enhances milk production and serves as an important tool to help dairy producers improve the efficiency of their operations.

Recently, there has been an increase in discussions that would limit dairy producer’s choice to use FDA-approved technologies like POSILAC® bovine somatotropin, a product with a 12-year track record of efficacy and safety. This has been a challenging issue for dairy producers who choose to use this product.

Bovine somatotropin, or bST, is a natural protein produced in the pituitary glands of all cattle and it helps adult cows produce milk. Milk from cows receiving supplemental bST is unchanged and just as wholesome and nutritious as always - full of calcium, protein, phosphorus and vitamins. In fact, the level of bST in milk remains the same.

Because POSILAC benefits large and small herds alike, it can play a critical role in helping farmers both in the United States and around the world. The use of supplemental bST allows dairy farmers to produce more milk with fewer cows, thereby providing dairy farmers with additional economic security as well as providing related environmental benefits.

Many farmers who use POSILAC and other FDA-approved tools to increase their efficiency and profitability are concerned that milk marketing strategies that target these safe, effective technologies will harm their livelihoods and futures. The links on this page provide additional information on the how the dairy industry is responding to this issue.


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