Good news for bovine somatotropin

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Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) has renewed movement forward for Codex approval.

This week, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a body of the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, held rbST at Step 8, providing the opportunity for an updated review of the scientific data.

This decision is in recognition of the established human safety decisions from years past ― and the opportunity for additional scientific review.

“While we wish the standards had been adopted, we also look forward to updating the established human safety data assessment,” says Ted McKinney, director of global public affairs at Elanco. “To achieve approval at some point in the future would be similar to receiving product approval from a regulatory body here in the U.S.”

The Codex endorsement provides reassurance to countries throughout the world that a product is efficacious and safe.

Years ago, rbST was submitted for review, but it sat dormant at the final Step 8 until one country asked to advance the process. 

“Elanco respects the decision taken by Codex regarding the global food safety standards for recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST). We compliment the large number of countries at Codex that expressed support at this session for the adoption of food standards for rbST. Global dairy innovations, such as rbST, are and will continue to be instrumental in meeting the rising demand for safe, wholesome dairy products. Codex standards provide an international food safety reference point that helps assure consumers that their food is safe,” says Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco.


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Wi  |  July, 06, 2012 at 08:43 AM

But if consumers don't accept this technology, will any approval by a regulatory body do any good? BST is approved in the US, and how many farms can actually use it? And those that can use it take a lower price for their milk. The focus needs to be on consumers first to educate them on the benefits of the product. I believe the product is safe, and I have seen the benefits in the past on my farm. As a supporter of the product we need to show consumers how it can benefit them.

California  |  July, 13, 2012 at 12:46 AM

Consumers don't want this technology, and any attempt to "educate" them is going to be seen as a blatant effort to increase profits. Look at how sales of organic milk are increasing. In many parts of the US, consumers just don't trust farmers any more. They don't want your "education", they want you to sell what they want, and if you don't sell it, they will buy it from someone else.

france  |  July, 06, 2012 at 11:19 PM

Here in France consumers don't want to see the french cows transformed in an "AMSTRONG COW"even it is safe

Wi  |  July, 08, 2012 at 08:04 AM

Once again, the problem is educating the consumer. BST doesn't change cows. It just lets them eat a little more, and helps manage body condition when they are having trouble getting pregnant. Its a wonderful tool, and I'd bet the farm that you couldn't come into my barns and tell me whether or not my cows are on BST. In my opinion, it keeps cows healthier. I'm not freshening in fat cows that didn't get pregnant right away the previous lactation so they are having trouble when they come in. I think the product received a lot of bad PR when it was first pushed so hard by Monsanto. It also didn't help that when it was introduced back in the 90's that we didn't know as much about getting cows pregnant or mastitis prevention as we do now. That was when people would talk about "burning out" a cow- milking them one long lactation and shipping them. As producers, we learned that high producing cows don't show heat well and therefore need extra attention to get pregnant. Cows on BST also produce more milk, so producers needed to pay extra attention to protect our cows from mastitis. It was a long learning curve, but I think if BST was allowed to be used freely by producers that chose to use it, the results would be overwhelmingly positive.

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