Breyers Ice Cream to Stop Using Milk Treated with rBST Hormone


Our Monday green news brings you the latest on nutrition, good causes and child education:

ice cream

Photo courtesy of Sea Turtle via Flickr

  • Breyers ice cream to stop using milk treated with rBST hormone: The company Breyers has recently announced that it will stop using milk from cows treated with the controversial hormone rBST. This artificial growth hormone (recombinant bovine somatotropin) is a genetically engineered hormone that farmers inject into cows to increase their milk production. It’s been linked to a several health problems in cows, and consequently, humans who drink the cows’ milk. According to Organic Valley, this artificial version of naturally occurring hormone in the cow’s pituitary gland was developed by Monsanto and other companies using the E. coli bacteria. The hormone has already been banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel and the European Union. Many U.S. companies, such as Ben & Jerry’s, Chipotle, Wal-Mart, Haagen Dazs, Yoplait and Dannon yogurts have also chosen to go rBST-free and only use milk from farmers whose cows are hormone free. Breyers plans to have most of its milk rBST-free by March. In addition to using non-rBST milk, Breyers will also use only  vanilla certified by the Rainforest Alliance, ensuring it meets the rigorous standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network and the Forest Stewardship Council. Breyers’ parent company Unilever plans to include their other brands such as Fruttare, Good Humor, Klondike, Magnum and Popsicle to use only hormone-free milk and sustainable vanilla. As Alessandra Bellini, vice president of brand development at Unilever North America explained: “Breyers has a long-standing history of offering frozen treats with high-quality ingredients that moms feel good about. These industry-leading changes are the latest in our commitment to do right by parents and the environment.”
  • Measles and day care: Concerned parents recently ask this question: “Can a vaccinated child bring home the measles virus if he encounters an infected child in day care?” According to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, it’s highly unlikely. “The vaccinated child, even if they are exposed to the measles virus, cannot then transmit the virus to others. That’s because the vaccinated child’s antibodies completely surround, attach to and then kill the virus. The measles virus can’t multiply in the vaccinated child, and the vaccinated child cannot be an agent of transmission to others. That’s why vaccinated children protect the unvaccinated. That’s the whole concept of herd immunity: The vaccinated children really do provide a strong barrier of protection to the unvaccinated.”
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