A new scientific study using retail milk samples from 48 states shows that milk is indeed milk.

The Monsanto study used third-party testing facilities and an independent auditing firm to compare 213 retail milk samples of conventionally produced milk with conventionally produced milk marketed as coming from cows that did not receive bST.

Scientific analysis of the retail milk samples showed no difference in concentrations of bST, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), progesterone or nutrients in conventionally produced milk and conventionally produced milk labeled as coming from cows not supplemented with POSILAC. No antibiotic residues were found in any samples.

The findings of the study reinforce that milk marketing claims differentiating milk based on POSILAC use are meaningless.

“The study findings are not surprising. Marketing claims that imply differences are unsupported by the scientific data,” said John Vicini, lead dairy scientist for Monsanto. “The results are consistent with FDA’s exhaustive review of previous studies.”

The new study included 213 samples of 95 milk brands from 162 retail locations in 48 states. The study results, which Monsanto intends to submit to a peer-reviewed scientific journal, showed that there was:

  • No difference in the levels of the hormones progesterone, IGF-1 or bST.
  • No differences in nutrient content.
  • No antibiotic residue in any of the samples.

Monsanto initiated the research after recent actions taken by several processors and retailers implied or suggested to consumers that conventionally produced milk is compositionally different if it comes from cows not supplemented with POSILAC.

“These results call into question marketing of higher priced milk from cows not treated with POSILAC based on claims about growth hormones or antibiotics that imply a difference in milk composition or safety,” Vicini said. “They confuse consumers regarding a safe, nutritious food that’s an important part of a healthy diet.”

“Farmers should be free to choose FDA-approved technology that lowers their costs and provides the same quality milk to consumers,” said Kevin Holloway, president of Monsanto’s dairy business. “As a tool that makes dairy producers more efficient, POSILAC also reduces the environmental impact of dairying.”

POSILAC is an FDA-approved supplement used by U.S. dairy farmers to increase productivity. It has been on the market since 1994.

Monsanto press release