This is an editorial Assignment done on a protien: Bovine Somatotropn (bST). The the issue brought up in this is: is it right for us to use (bST) on cows to produce more milk for our benefit?

Essay by gakidouHigh School, 12th grade February 2004

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After nine long years, Health Canada officials rejected the use of rbST in Canada. Although the consumption of milk containing rbST had been proven safe for humans, the choice of Health Canada to ban rbST based solely because of the unethical treatment of cattle is an elite standard for the production of food.

Molecular Biology

Bovine Somatotropin (bST) is a naturally occurring protein produced by the pituitary gland in all cattle. It was discovered in 1930 that this hormone was capable of increasing the milk production when injected into lactating diary cows. Until recently, it became very difficult to acquire this milk-boosting hormone, as it was previously only found in the pituitary gland of a slaughtered cow. Presently, with the advancement of biotechnology scientists have invented rbST (recombinant Bovine Somatotropin) for commercial use in dairy cows. Using recombinant DNA technology, scientists targeted the bST-producing gene (foreign gene) and inserted it into E.

Coli (Escherichia coli). The product is then purified and injected into the cattle.

Health and Safety

In order to boost milk production, rbST is injected into dairy cows regularly. With the increase in blood flow, the milk-producing gland extracts more nutrients from the blood, increasing the production of milk. Extensive veterinarian regulations of these procedures would have been essential. However, would they have been properly enforced or done?


The global significance of the introduction of bovine somatrotropin is undeniable mainly based on its financial possibilities of increasing production, without increasing the units of production. If farmers could simply increase the productivity of milk by 10 to 15%, the financial aspects of such a drug is tremendous. However, such logic is misleading to the public. The public may "think" that the price would go down, but the dairy produces could profit more considerably...